Monday, September 19, 2005

Former Illinois Governor's Corruption Trial Scheduled to Begin

The trial of former Illinois Governor George Ryan and lobbyist Larry Warner is scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 19, in U.S. District Court in Chicago, with the selection of the jury.  Ryan is charged with RICO conspiracy, mail fraud, tax evasion, and lying to the FBI; his campaign committee and former chief of staff have already been convicted on RICO charges.  Ryan was caught up in a wide-ranging investigation of corruption in the Illinois Secretary of State's office involving payments for driver's licenses that occurred during his two terms in that office.  Ryan served only one term as governor, and was indicted within a year of leaving office in 2003.  Among his final acts as governor was commuting the sentences of all prisoners on death row in Illinois due to flaws in the system that had resulted in a number of wrongful convictions.  An AP story (here) discusses the charges against Ryan. (ph)

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