Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s three-year court battle against criminal charges that he engaged in widespread corruption ended today with a 14-year prison sentence, the longest ever imposed on an Illinois politician. 

Prosecutors say the sentence is the strongest message to date that abuse of power and widespread corruption in Illinois government can no longer be tolerated and that the betrayal of the public trust must end. Blagojevich accepted responsibility for the corruption for the first time, and apologized to his family, friends and Illinois residents following three years of bombastic denials and protestations of innocence.

Blagojevich’s 18-count conviction includes trying to “sell” Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat for campaign cash, cabinet appointments or future job considerations for him and his wife.

The BGA has been following the Blagojevich trials and subsequent reaction. Here are related links and social media posts: 

Chicago Sun-Times Federal Courts Reporter Natasha Korecki — @natashakorecki — after the sentencing was released:

BGA President & CEO Andy Shaw on the sentencing:

BGA Poilcy & Government Affiars Coordinator Emily Miller@EJMill — quoting Judge Zagel:

BGA’s Emily Miller in response to partisan-infused tweets and talking heads:

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan:

@WBEZ on Blago’s press adress after sentencing:

Chicago Tribune‘s Clout Street — @ChiTribCloutSt — follows U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerlad’s press conference in response to the sentencing: