Business as usual for Blagojevich

Dec. 10, 2008 at 1:01 PM
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CHICAGO, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, charged with multiple counts of corruption, went to work as usual at the state office building in Chicago Wednesday.

Blagojevich waved but didn't speak to reporters staking out his home as he left to go to his Chicago office.

Blagojevich Tuesday was arrested, accused in a federal complaint of, among other things, trying to sell or barter President-elect Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat for his personal and financial gain.

Blagojevich, who celebrated his 52nd birthday Wednesday, said he is innocent of the charges and said he does not intend to resign, despite calls to do so from Obama, state lawmakers, the state attorney general and newspapers throughout the state, among others.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a possible 2010 gubernatorial candidate, said she was prepared to force Blagojevich out under a state Supreme Court rule if necessary, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

"The attorney general is prepared to take action but believes the Legislature should have a reasonable time to act," Madigan spokeswoman Natalie Bauer said, without specifying a timeline for Blagojevich to resign or for lawmakers to act on impeachment before the attorney general becomes involved.

Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., all called for impeachment. In a statement, House Speaker Michael Madigan, the attorney general's father, said he was "prepared to discuss the suggestions of the House Republican leader," but didn't commit to an impeachment resolution.

If Blagojevich steps down, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn would take over. On Tuesday, Quinn urged the governor to "do the right thing and step aside."

The Governor's Press Office issued a statement saying state-run services would not be affected by the allegations or arrest.

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