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Blagojevich aide sentenced to 10 days in prison

John Harris, former chief of staff to Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich [JURIST news archive], was sentenced to 10 days in prison this week in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois [official website] for his part in trying to sell President Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat. Harris pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to a single count of wire fraud in 2009 after agreeing to testify [Reuters report] against Blagojevich and four other defendants. Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison in December after he was convicted [JURIST reports] of 18 counts of corruption earlier last year. He reported to prison to serve his sentence on March 15.

Weeks after his conviction, lawyers for Blagojevich filed notice that they will appeal [JURIST report]. Blagojevich was scheduled to be sentenced in October after he was convicted in June, but the sentencing hearing was delayed [JURIST report] until December. In January 2009 the Illinois State Senate voted unanimously [JURIST report] to convict Blagojevich of abuse of power and remove him from office. Blagojevich is the first Illinois governor to be impeached and removed from office. Blagojevich and Harris were initially arrested [JURIST report] in December 2008.

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