Will the conviction and lengthy sentence of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich stop corruption from happening in Illinois? The state treasurer doesn’t think so. Dan Rutherford says sending a public official to jail, like Blagojevich, won’t stop the culture of corruption in Illinois.
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“I don’t think that [former Gov. George Ryan] having gone to prison for 6½ years made an impact. I don’t think [Blagojevich] going for 14 years will have an impact,” Rutherford said. He says there are two things that will make a difference: aggressive and good prosecution and people with good intent becoming elected officials in Illinois. He says those two things will drive change. When will it happen? Rutherford can’t say. Meanwhile, Rutherford says he feels sorry for Blagojevich’s wife and kids, but says the 14-year sentence is appropriate. “I feel for the family,” Rutherford said. “I feel for the kids. But that was a father and husband that did it to his family. It wasn’t the people of Illinois [that] did it to his family. He did it to his family.”