For Blago, 71 Days of Freedom Left

And no pension, to boot
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2011 9:41 AM CST
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, left, speaks to reporters as his wife Patti, center, listens at the federal building in Chicago, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

(Newser) – Gone was the defiant Rod Blagojevich who protested his innocence, promised a comeback, and called himself "frankly … stunned" at his guilty verdict: The Blago on display yesterday at his sentencing was apologetic and emotional, but he was sentenced to 14 years for corruption nonetheless. Now he has just 71 days of freedom before going away for at least 12 years, the earliest point at which he will be eligible for early release. The disgraced ex-governor, who turns 55 Saturday, will get one last birthday and Christmas with wife Patti and daughters Amy, 15, and Annie, 8, before reporting to prison Feb. 16 to share a cell and work a menial job for 12 cents per hour.

"I've had a lot of clients who've had to start making preparations the day after they were sentenced," a federal defense attorney tells the AP. "But not a single one of them has been able to prepare for saying goodbye to their children." In addition to that, Blagojevich probably hopes to see his house sold and get his financial affairs in order, giving his wife power of attorney so that she can complete financial transactions without him. He's not likely to ever receive his $65,000-per-year state pension, the Chicago Tribune notes, although he will probably still get a federal pension, since his misdeeds took place during his governorship and not during the six years he served as a congressman. (Read more Rod Blagojevich stories.)

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