Madigan praises lawmakers for Blagojevich's ouster

Chris Rizo Jan. 30, 2009, 12:33pm

Lisa Madigan (D)

Rod Blagojevich (D)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline)-Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has praised state lawmakers for ousting Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Before the state House voted to impeach the embattled two-term governor and the Senate voted 59-0 Thursday to remove him from office, Madigan had unsuccessfully sought to have Blagojevich removed from office by the state Supreme Court following his arrest on federal corruption charges.

In a statement, Madigan said she pleased that Blagojevich's "destructive tenure" has ended.

"We can now move forward with the work of the people of the state of Illinois," Madigan said.

The Senate's non-criminal impeachment hearings were presided over by state Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald, a Democrat.

Last month, the governor was arrested for allegedly trying to sell for political and personal favors the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. After his ouster, Democratic Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn was sworn in to succeed Blagojevich.

For his part, Blagojevich has denied any wrongdoing. Three weeks after his arrest, Blagojevich appointed former state Attorney General Roland Burris to Obama's Senate seat.

Madigan had sought to have her fellow Democrat declared as incapable of governing the state following his arrest. The high court denied her request without comment.

In her plea to the justices, Madigan had argued that "the pervasive nature and severity" of the case against Blagojevich had rendered him "incapable of legitimately exercising his ability as governor."

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