CHICAGO, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was no pawn or "supplicant" in schemes to use his office for money, the federal judge set to sentence him said Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel is scheduled to issue the sentence Wednesday after a two-day hearing. Zagel ruled for prosecutors on a number of key issues Tuesday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The judge did give Blagojevich one break. He said that imposing the maximum of 30 years to life is "simply not appropriate" for Blagojevich's crimes. Prosecutors are seeking 15 to 20 years, while defense lawyers argue for a short sentence and possibly even for probation.
But Zagel agreed with prosecutors that he should take the $1.5 million allegedly offered by a supporter of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to name him to the Senate seat once held by Barack Obama into consideration, even though Blagojevich never got the money.
The judge also said he did not believe Blagojevich was manipulated by aides, the Chicago Tribune said. He referred to tapes of government wiretaps.
"Based on those tapes, I don't think he was an easy man to stop," Zagel said in reference to government wiretaps. "He rattled on for quite a long time…. His tone of voice was demanding. He was not a supplicant."
In the afternoon, Blagojevich's lawyers portrayed him as a model family man, asking Zagel for leniency for his daughters' sake.