CHICAGO, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Imprisoned former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, convicted of corruption charges in 2006, apologized to the people of his state Friday.
His lawyer read a statement to reporters in which Ryan offered "a truly heartfelt apology to the people of Illinois. It has been a difficult journey for me to get to this point, as I truly believed in my service to the people, but it was less than my best, and for that I am sorry."
Ryan, 74, was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison.
The former governor offered a specific apology to Scott and Janet Willis, who lost six children in a 1994 crash. The Chicago Tribune said the crash involved a truck whose driver who bribed officials in the Ryan administration to get a license.
"I know that Reverend and Mrs. Willis suffered such effects -- an unimaginable pain and loss -- from mistakes made in my administration, both by me and others on my watch," Ryan said in his statement. "My heart has and always will go out to the Willis family. They, like all of the people of Illinois, deserved far better than I gave them."