Illinois speaker of the house Michael Madigan, left, speaks with representative Lou Lang, prior to a hearing by the Illinois House of Representatives Special Investigative Committee at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield on January 8, 2009. The committee voted to send impeachment proceedings for Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) to the full House for consideration. (UPI Photo/Mark Cowan) | License Photo
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The Illinois House of Representatives voted 114-1 Friday to impeach disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The vote to impeach was nearly unanimous; 114 in favor, one against and one present. Two members of the 118-member state House were absent.
The lone vote against impeachment was cast by state Rep. Milton Patterson, a Democrat who represents a district on Chicago's South Side.
"For the state of Illinois it's a historic day for the House in Illinois to impeach the governor of Illinois," said former Republican Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson. Illinois has only had three impeachments in its 190-year history -- all state judges, he said.
"As a former governor myself it's deeply troubling to see a governor impeached," Thompson, a former U.S. attorney, told WLS-TV. "I'd like to see a fair trial in the Senate."
"He needs to resign and spare the state …," State Comptroller Dan Hynes said.
Blagojevich, who went for a run in the snow in Chicago as state representatives decided his fate in the state Capitol in Springfield, scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference, WBBM-AM, Chicago, reported.
The House Special Investigative Committee voted 21-0 Thursday to accuse Blagojevich of a series of alleged efforts to secure personal gain or campaign contributions in exchange for official acts. Among the acts were his alleged effort to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder and alleged demands that the Chicago Tribune fire members of its editorial board in exchange for state assistance in the sale of the Chicago Cubs. The committee also cited his multimillion-dollar purchase of flu vaccine that federal officials would not allow into the country and his expansion of a state health insurance program despite the Legislature's opposition.