Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 on federal charges that include allegations he schemed to profit from his power to appoint Obama’s replacement in the U. S. Senate. The criminal complaint included an FBI agent’s sworn affidavit describing wiretaps that caught Blagojevich allegedly talking about what he could get for the seat, how to pressure people into making campaign contributions and more.
That arrest triggered impeachment hearings by a special House committee.
The committee on Thursday unanimously recommended impeachment based on the criminal charges but other allegations as well — that Blagojevich expanded a health care program without proper authority, that he circumvented hiring laws to give jobs to political allies, that he spent millions of dollars on foreign flu vaccine that he knew was not needed and could not be brought into the country.
Just imagine if the legislature had acted that fast to take away the governor’s power to appoint a US Senator.
Blagojevich now faces trial and possible removal from office by the Illinois State Senate.
My favorite character in this drama is now Illinois State Rep. Milton Patterson from Chicago’s south side. Patterson, a Democrat, was the only dissenting vote in the impeachment. He told the Chicago Tribune he didn’t feel it was his job to impeach Blagojevich. Patterson would be perfect for the MPS school board.