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Attorney: George Ryan Will Get Early Work Release

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Attorney: Ryan Will Get Early Work Release

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Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan has qualified for an early work release program, his attorney said Wednesday.

The program allows Ryan to be released five months before his July 2013 parole.

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson told The Daily Journal in Kankakee Ryan's new home will be a halfway house in Chicago's West Loop. The 78-year-old Ryan is serving a 6 1/2-year sentence at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., for a 2006 conviction on corruption charges.

A federal court on Monday denied Ryan's latest appeal seeking early release. Thompson said Ryan's attorney will try to appeal again, possibly to the Supreme Court, which has already said it wouldn't hear Ryan's case.

"George Ryan, as a public official, had a duty to provide honest services to the people of the state of Illinois who elected him," reads the opinion by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook. "And the evidence in this case has shown that he repeatedly violated that duty.

Ryan wanted to be released from his six-and-a-half year prison term following a Supreme Court ruling on honest services that affected his case. The appellate court upheld the former governor's corruption convictions last July. But the Supreme Court didn't like how they arrived at their upheld conviction and asked them to try again.

Ryan's attorneys had argued the charges should be overturned because prosecutors never proved he took a bribe.

A Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman would not confirm Ryan's work release date, citing a "security issue."
 

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