Ex. Ill. governor begins prison sentence

Nov. 7, 2007 at 5:43 PM
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OXFORD, Wis., Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan Wednesday entered the federal prison camp in Oxford, Wis., to begin his 6 ½ year sentence for corruption.

Ryan, 73, was accompanied by his wife, family members and friend, former Republican Gov. James Ryan, whose law firm represented Ryan at his trial and appeals. Thompson said it was tragic Ryan might spend the remainder of his life in prison.

Ryan, the third ex-Illinois governor to serve prison time, was convicted in April 2006 of accepting cash, vacations and gifts from friends and lobbyists in return for state contracts. This week, the Republican lost an appeal to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to remain free on bond while he appeals his conviction to the high court.

An appellate court had ordered him to report to prison before 5 p.m. Wednesday.

A black Audi carrying Ryan and his party slipped into the prison camp through a side entrance, avoiding a gauntlet of more than two dozen reporters and television cameras, The Chicago Tribune said.

Ryan, who suffers from Crohn's disease and diabetes, was expected to be assigned to a typical inmate job at the facility. Co-defendant Larry Warner was to report Wednesday to a federal prison in Littleton, Colo.

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