Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor who fought for three years against criminal Federal corruption charges, was sentenced to 14 years in prison Wednesday.
Among his 18 convictions is the charge that he tried to use his power to appoint someone to President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat in exchange for favors.
According to The Associated Press, Blagojevich has received the harshest sentence among the four Illinois governors sent to prison in the past four decades.
While the defense argued that Blagojevich’s schemes had not cost the state a penny, Judge James B. Zagel said the real cost was “the erosion in trust for the government.”
Blagojevich is expected to appeal his conviction, but is ordered to begin serving his sentence on Feb. 16.
“I’m here convicted of crimes. The jury decided that I was guilty and I am accepting of it. I acknowledge it and, of course, am unbelievably sorry for it,” Blagojevich said before his sentence was handed down.
The judge, however, was not moved to be lenient on the former Illinois governor.
“Whatever good things you did for people as governor, and you did some, I am more concerned with the occasions when you wanted to use your powers to do things that were only good for yourself,” said Zagel.