Justice has finally been served.
Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for corruption convictions on Wednesday, Nov. 7, according to CNN.
Among other charges, Blagojevich was accused of trying to sell President Barack Obama’s Senate seat after Obama was elected president in November 2008. After his arrest a month later, Blagojevich was impeached.
A jury convicted him of 18 corruption counts in June of this year.
Blagojevich apologized to Illinois residents, to his family and to the judge an hour before his sentencing, saying he had no one to blame but himself; however, his sincerity was hard to believe, since this was the first time he had admitted wrongdoing since the start of the trials two and a half years ago.
After the judge’s ruling, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said the sentence was justified.
“Blagojevich betrayed the trust and faith that Illinois voters placed in him,” Fitzgerald told CNN on Wednesday. “People have the right to expect that their elected leaders will honor the oath they swear to, and this sentence shows that the justice system will stand up to protect their expectations.”
Illinois residents expected their governor to keep the commitment he made to uphold the values of both the state and federal Constitution when he was sworn into office. Because he failed to keep his commitment to citizens, Blagojevich deserves what he got.
People should be able to rely on their leaders, as the decisions they make affect more than just the decision-maker. Blagojevich chose to serve himself, which ultimately resulted in the demise of his job as well as his character.
After Obama’s Senate seat was vacated in November 2008, federal investigators caught Blagojevich on tape discussing what he could get out of the situation, including campaign donations, a high-paying job and a cabinet position.
“I’ve got this thing, and it’s [expletive] golden,” he said on the tape. “And I’m just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing.”
Blago’s crass comments show he was not only unprofessional in his conduct as a leader, but he also was not concerned with what was best for the people he governed over. His emphasis was only on himself.
Blagojevich maintained his narcissistic arrogance to the very end. He did not admit to any wrongdoing until after his conviction, and did not apologize until the day of his sentencing.
A responsible leader admits when he is wrong, not because he has been found out, but because he sets the example for the people he governs and has a moral obligation to do what’s right for them.
Blago did not live up to his duty to guard the interests of the citizens he led, and now he is paying the price.
I hope he looks good in orange.