Illinois court rejects attempt to have governor removed from office

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rod Blagojevich, the United States governor of Illinois, will retain his position of governor after the Illinois Supreme Court stopped an effort to have him removed from office. Blagojevich insists that he is innocent and has done nothing to break the law. The court refused to hear the attorney-general's case to impeach Blagojevich on accusations that the latter was politically and legally unable to work.

Rod Blagojevich

Lisa Madigan, the state attorney general, voiced her disappointment over the ruling, saying that the governor's refusal to step down has resulted in an "unsustainable situation" in the state.

Blagojevich was arrested last week on charges that he tried to 'sell' President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat after the latter vacated it in order to become President. Blagojevich was wiretapped, and was recorded discussing the trading or selling of Obama's Senate seat. However, Blagojevich's lawyer, Edward Genson, argued to the House committee that the statements do not amount to illegal actions.

"This proceeding, which is basing its findings on the summary of wiretaps, is unfair and quite frankly illegal. The fact of the matter is, we in this case object, and object vociferously, to the use of this," he said.

The Illinois General Assembly can remove Blagojevich by impeachment. The proceedings to start the process of impeachment started on Monday.

Blagojevich wants the state of Illinois to pay off his legal fees.