Lawyer: Balgojevich won't resign

Dec. 15, 2008 at 11:27 PM
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CHICAGO, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will not resign but will fight federal corruption charges against him, his attorney said Monday.

Attorney Ed Genson told reporters in Chicago, shortly after meeting with Blagojevich Monday evening, that the governor will not resign.

"He's not stepping aside," Genson said "He hasn't done anything wrong. We're going to fight this case."

The Illinois House voted 113-0 Monday to open impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich, who was arrested last week on federal charges stemming from an alleged effort to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder.

Democratic House leaders in the state capital decided, however, against immediate consideration of a plan to strip Blagojevich of his authority to appoint someone to serve the remainder of Obama's Senate term, the Chicago Tribune reported.

ABC News reported Genson called the case "another one of those cases where the press has just taken control and the media has taken control and I think the case is not what it seems and I think that when it comes to pass, you'll see it's not what it seems and you'll find that he's not guilty."

Genson said he doesn't think President-elect Barack Obama "has anything to do with this case, but the media suggests that he has and as a result, it's made the case a lot more important than I think it should be."

Among the options the legislative body could consider is a measure that would authorize special elections for Obama's seat and for the congressional seat of incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who hasn't formally resigned his elected post.

Illinois Republican Party leaders are pushing for a special election, the Tribune reported. Republican state Rep. Aaron Schock, who will join the U.S. House next month, said the Illinois electorate should decide Obama's successor, not Blagojevich or Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, next in succession.

Besides possible impeachment, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked the state Supreme Court to declare the governor unfit to hold office.

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