George Ryan Says Sorry - NBC Chicago

George Ryan Says Sorry



    George Ryan Says Sorry
    Scott Olson
    George Ryan is seen with wife Lura Lynn during his 2006 corruption trial.

    It took 15 years to build a corruption case against former Gov. George Ryan, convict him and send him to jail.  Through it all, there was never an admission of guilt. 

    Until Friday.

    Four days after current Gov. Rod Blagojevich was accused of corrupting the state's highest office, Ryan admits he's guilty of doing the same.

    Another former Illinois governor, Jim Thomspon, announced the statement during a news conference Friday evening.  He said that by issuing the statement, Ryan is admitting he is guilty as charged.  [George Ryan trial archives]

    Read the full statement, then share your thoughts in the comment forum below:

      I must say something that I have known in my heart has been a long time coming. And that is a truly heartfelt apology to the people of Illinois. It has been a difficult journey for me to get to this point, as I truly believed in my service to the people, but it was less than my best, and for that I am sorry.

      I want to make things right in my heart with God, with my family, and with those that I have hurt. As a former public official, a husband, a father, and a grandfather, I apologize. Even though I cannot undo my mistakes, I hope I can restore some faith in your hearts and minds by opening up and sharing these thoughts. And even though it took time for me to come to this place, in the end my goal is to do the right thing, no matter how tardy or flawed.

      I sincerely hope that by coming forward today, my words in some way might help in the healing process of restoring the people's faith in their government and others that want to serve. In addition to damaging the public's trust and confidence in government, I realize my mistakes had other implications and tangible effects on my constituents and the citizenry. I know that Reverend and Mrs. Willis suffered such effects -- an unimaginable pain and loss -- from mistakes made in my administration, both by me and others on my watch. My heart has and always will go out to the Willis family. They, like all of the people of Illinois, deserved far better than I gave them.

      - George Ryan