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Blagojevich Convicted of 1 of 24 Counts in Corruption Case

After 14 days of deliberation, a federal jury in Chicago convicted Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois on one count of lying to the FBI. The jury deadlocked on 23 other corruption charges and the judge ordered a mistrial. Prosecutors have said they will retry the former governor on charges of racketeering, extortion and fraud.

The corruption investigation began in 2004 and led to the arrest of Blagojevich in December 2008, along with his chief of staff. One of the charges against Blagojevich is that he tried to sell Obama's state senate seat after it was vacated upon Obama's election to the presidency. According to The Washington Post, one juror said that the group voted 11-1 to convict Blagojevich on the charge of trying to sell Obama's seat.

The jurors also could not reach a unanimous decision on four felony charges related to the sale of the senate seat brought against Blagojevich's brother, Robert, and he will also be retried.

Blagojevich could face up to five years in prison after being convicted of lying to the FBI, a felony. Jurors agreed that he lied when he told FBI agents that he did not track campaign contributions and kept a "firewall" between political campaigns and government work.

Prosecutors also accuse Blagojevich of trying to gain campaign contributions in exchange for government contracts and state business. Blagojevich has said that he is the victim of government persecution and said he felt vindicated that the prosecutors failed to prove their case on all but one charge. He also vowed to fight the single conviction.

Source:

Blagojevich is convicted of 1 of 24 counts; prosecutors vow retrial (The Washington Post)

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