Blago Attorneys to Make Prison Suggestion

Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich will make a recommendation Friday on where the former governor will serve his 14-year prison sentence.

Their goal is to keep Blagojevich no more than 500 miles from his immediate family. Judge James Zagel, who handed down the sentence Wednesday, agreed to recommend that Blagojevich serve his time at a minimum security prison.

That means he could end up in Pekin, Ill.; Terre Haute, Ind., where former Gov. George Ryan is serving his 6 1/2-year sentence for corruption; or Oxford, Wis.

Blagojevich reports to prison Feb. 16.

His brother, Robert, was charged with helping the former governor attempt to sell President Barack Obama's Senate seat, but those charges were eventually dropped. Though Robert Blagojevich admits their relationship has been strained, he says the sentence is extreme.

"For my brother to get 14 years, to me, is draconian, unfair and wrong," he said. "It's just, to me, not appropriate for what he did."

Blagojevich's attorneys say they plan to appeal the sentence. They could ask that he remain free on bond while they pursue the appeal.

Details of the appeal are not yet clear.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Thursday said Blagojevich shouldn't get his $65,000 per year state pension benefits because his corruption convictions were connected with his service as governor. He'll likely be able to keep his federal pension -- roughly $15,000 annually -- for his time served as a member of the U.S. Congress.

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