In this courtroom sketch, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, left, speaks before U.S. District Judge James Zagel at his sentencing hearing at federal court in Chicago, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Tom Gianni)
Attorneys for Rod Blagojevich have formally begun the process of appealing the former Illinois governor's conviction and prison sentence.
They did so in a court filing late Tuesday, notifying the U.S. District Court in Chicago that intended to appeal to a higher court.
Blagojevich has been ordered to report to prison on March 15 to begin his 14-year sentence. The 55-year-old was convicted earlier this year of corruption charges that included allegations that he tried to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat for campaign cash or a top job.
Attorneys had said they planned to appeal.
However, the process of filing a full appeal is likely to drag on for several weeks or even months. After notification, transcripts and other documents are typically transferred to the higher court.
Blagojevich earlier in the day lost one of his attorneys. Elliott Riebman, one of four attorneys, asked the court’s permission to withdraw from the former governor’s case.
That action comes a day after Judge James Zagel called the defense team's request to consider a third trial "harebrained."