Illinois Pols Offered Me Easy Out: Blago

Replacement denies deal to keep him on as 'incapacitated governor'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2009 12:57 PM CST

(Newser) – Rod Blagojevich said today that shortly after his December arrest by federal authorities, he was approached by “leading senators” who offered him a chance to stay on as an “incapacitated governor,” the Chicago Tribune reports. The deal, which the now-impeached governor rejected, would have been contingent on him not appointing a replacement to Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

An aide to Gov. Pat Quinn denied any offer; Blagojevich said he would have been allowed to keep his salary and security detail, but would otherwise have been “a ghost payroller,” uninvolved in government. Rejecting the deal led to his impeachment trial, which Blagojevich continues to decry as an “unlawful and improper” proceeding that “hijacked” his office. “I’ll clear my name,” he vowed on NBC’s Today.