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After crime, punishment awaits ex-Gov. Blagojevich

Posted by wlpo on December 6, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) – A federal judge says Rod Blagojevich was clearly the ringleader of the schemes for which he was convicted.

The judge said Tuesday at the sentencing hearing for the former Illinois governor that he believed there was ample evidence Blagojevich wanted $1.5 million for the U.S. Senate seat that he was convicted of trying to barter.

That could mean a harsher sentence for Blagojevich from federal Judge James Zagel, who dismissed the contention by Blagojevich’s attorneys that he was going along with what his aides and advisers wanted him to do.

Zagel told a packed courtroom that just listening to Blagojevich on the secretly recorded tape recordings at the center of the corruption trial reveal that he was the leader of the schemes – and a demanding one at that.

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