December 9, 2008
The Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) was taken into federal custody at his home this morning. The governor’s chief of staff was also arrested.
Both men were accused of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy that included Blagojevich conspiring to sell or trade the Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife. Specifically, prosecutors say Blagojevich sought appointment as Secretary of Health and Human Services in the new Obama administration, or a lucrative job with a union in exchange for appointing a union-preferred candidate.
The governor was also accused of obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions.