Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s wife, Patti, and his attorney expressed disappointment at the appellate court ruling that was handed down Tuesday.
At a news conference outside the family home in the city’s Ravenswood Manor neighborhood, Patti Blagojevich said she had told her husband of the ruling. He is serving a 14-year sentence in a federal prison near Denver.
“Well, he’s disappointed, of course, because he’s where he’s at and he has a family at home that he needs to be with, and so he’s optimistic that justice will prevail eventually,” she said. “My husband is an eternal optimist. He’s always tried to find the upside, and we do believe that justice will prevail and that he’ll be home with us as soon as possible.
“This has been a long road for our family. We’ve waited a long time for this decision. We are very disappointed,” she said. “The only thing good I can say today is that possibly this is a step in the right direction of getting Rod home to his family.”
Blagojevich’s appellate attorney, Leonard Goodman, said the long-awaited ruling didn’t address many of the issues that were raised in the former governor’s appeal.
“And the ones it does address it gets it wrong,” Goodman said. “So it’s shocking to me that after a year and a half this could be the result of the court’s work.”
Goodman said his advice to Blagojevich will be to continue to fight the case.
“The evidence that would have acquitted him was excluded at trial, and my advice to the governor is that he should fight on,” Goodman said.
Goodman said he had not yet spoken to his client so he wasn’t sure about the next course of action, but he said he has options, including trying to get the case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Exactly the order of the proceedings will be up to the governor,” Goodman said.
Goodman took issue with the court, saying it made serious errors in its decision. He said the court was wrong when it supported the trial judge’s decision to exclude testimony from Blagojevich that he believed his actions were lawful.
“That is not the law. The Supreme Court just ruled this term that guilty knowledge is an element of proof for any criminal offense and this is no exception,” Goodman said. “This is pure politics. What he did was try to raise campaign cash, which is his job as governor.”
During her initial statement, Patti Blagojevich stood alongside her daughter Amy, who started crying as Patti Blagojevich spoke, resting her head on her mother’s shoulder.
“This all started when Amy was 12 years-old. She’s now going to be 19, and our younger daughter Annie is now 12,” Patti Blagojevich said.
“There hasn’t been a day that’s passed in the last seven years that hasn’t been tainted by the sadness of these proceedings. There’s been so much in the last 3 ½ years that Rod’s missed: high school graduations, proms, birthdays, and so if there’s any silver lining for us it’s that possibly this is a step in the right direction to getting him home with us and with his girls where he belongs.”
Patti Blagojevich also said she doesn’t regret the decisions she and her husband made to fight the case as it has made its way thr