10 Days in Prison for Blagojevich Ex-Chief of Staff | NBC Chicago

10 Days in Prison for Blagojevich Ex-Chief of Staff

John Harris was arrested the same day as former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2008



    (Published Friday, Sept. 21, 2012)

    A judge has sentenced Rod Blagojevich's former chief of staff to 10 days in prison for helping his old boss attempt to sell President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat.
    John Harris' sentencing came Wednesday at federal court in Chicago -- two weeks after the former Illinois governor reported to a Colorado prison to begin serving a 14-year prison term on related charges.

    "I can't tell you that if I were in your position the results would have been any different," Zagel told Harris. "But I would have left sooner."

    Harris will also have two years of supervised release.
    Harris pleaded guilty in a 2010 plea agreement to conspiracy to commit bribery. He faced up to five years. Defense attorneys said Harris should get probation.

    "The offense is so serious and so crucial that I cannot impose upon you a sentence that does not involve custody,'' Zagel said.
    Blagojevich fought the charges against him in the media and courts until his imprisonment.
    The 50-year-old Harris began cooperating just days after both men were arrested at their homes on Dec. 9, 2008. His cooperation included testifying against Blagojevich.
    The same U.S. district judge, James Zagel, sentenced both men.

    Harris was supposed to be sentenced March 16, the day after the impeached governor entered prison to begin a 14-year sentence. But the judge postponed proceedings because of other court business.