Blagojevich’s family ‘dumbfounded, flabbergasted’ at resentencing

CHICAGO -- A federal judge has upheld former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence on corruption charges.

The Democrat appeared via a video link Tuesday from his Colorado prison for a resentencing hearing in Chicago. It was the 59-year-old's first public appearance since he entered prison in 2012.

"I recognize it was my words and my actions that led me here," Blagojevich said before the judge's decision Tuesday. "I apologize to the court and to the government."

"I think I'm a very different person and I am someone who has learned a lot. I thank you for the opportunity to speak," he said.

An appeals court ordered a resentencing after striking down five of his 18 convictions. However, the prosecution argued that the dismissal of five counts is no basis to lower his sentence. They said Blagojevich did not admit to any criminal conduct.

After the judge made his decision, Blagojevich's daughters were visibly upset and sobbed in court.

Patti Blagojevich told the media she finds the decision t "unusually cruel and heartless and unfair."

She said she's "dumbfounded and flabbergasted" at U.S. District Judge James Zagel's "unwillingness to bestow even the smallest amount of leniency or mercy or kindness."

She went on to praise the couple's daughters, 20-year-old Amy and 13-year-old Annie, for making statements in court in support of their father. Patti Blagojevich said though that despite what their daughters said "the judge clearly made up his mind before it even started."

 

Blagojevich was originally sentenced in 2011, following his conviction for trying to exchange an appointment to President Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat for campaign cash.