Illinois A key panel unanimously recommended impeachment for Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Thursday, setting up a vote that could make him the first governor to face such a fate in Illinois’ sordid political history.
Blagojevich should lose his job for abusing power, mismanaging government and committing possible criminal acts, including federal allegations he tried to sell off a U.S. Senate seat, the special committee concluded.
The governor’s office issued a statement calling the panel’s proceedings flawed and biased.
The full House could vote as early as this morning. A vote for impeachment would trigger a Senate trial to decide whether the second-term Democrat should be removed from office.
Many on the 21-member special committee called it a sad day for Illinois, but Rep. Bill Black disagreed.
“I think this is a good, glad, happy day for Illinois because it points out that nobody is above the law,” said Black, a Republican. “There have been egregious abuses if half of what we read is true.”
Blagojevich denies any wrongdoing and his office’s statement called the panel’s vote a “foregone conclusion” resulting from proceedings where his team was “never given the chance to put on any kind of defense.”