- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Highlights from imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s political career and legal saga:

-1993: Blagojevich begins a three-year stint as an Illinois House representative.

-1997: Blagojevich begins a six-year tenure in Congress.

-2002: Blagojevich, billing himself an anti-corruption candidate, wins the Illinois gubernatorial election.

-2004: The first public indications that the Blagojevich administration is under federal investigation.

-2006: In a letter, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says he has witnesses to “very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud” in the Blagojevich administration.

Oct. 11: Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a top Blagojevich fundraiser, indicted on federal charges of using his political influence to squeeze kickbacks from companies seeking to do business with the state.

Oct. 27: Businessman Stuart Levine pleads guilty to mail fraud and money laundering as part of the Rezko scheme and agrees to cooperate.

Nov. 7: Blagojevich re-elected.

-2007: Dec. 9: Federal agents arrest Blagojevich on corruption charges at his Chicago home.

-2009: Jan: The Illinois House votes 114-1 to impeach Blagojevich, the first Illinois governor in history to be impeached. The Illinois Senate votes unanimously to remove Blagojevich from office.

April 2: Blagojevich formally indicted with five co-defendants - his last chief of staff, John Harris; fundraiser Christopher Kelly; a former chief of staff, Lon Monk; Springfield powerbroker William F. Cellini and his brother, Rob Blagojevich.

-2010: Aug. 16: After deliberating 14 days, a deadlocked jury reaches a verdict on just one count - lying to the FBI. Prosecutors immediately announce in court they will retry Blagojevich. Prosecutors later drop all charges against Rod Blagojevich’s co-defendant brother, Robert Blagojevich.

-2011: June 27: After nine days of deliberating, jurors find Blagojevich guilty of 18 counts, including allegations that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat. Jurors reached a not guilty verdict on one count and deadlocked on two others.

-2012: March: Blagojevich reports to Colorado prison to begin 14-year sentence.

-2013: July: Blagojevich lawyers appeal corruption convictions and prison term.

-2015: July: 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses five of 18 counts, rules prosecutors did not prove Blagojevich broke the law when he tried to get a Cabinet position in President Barack Obama’s administration in exchange for appointing Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat. Court orders counts be retried and that Blagojevich be resentenced.


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