Blago Moves One Step Closer to Disbarment

The final decision on revoking his law license rests with the Illinois Supreme Court

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Rod Blagojevich rarely made use of his law license, but in his new role as recently-released-from-prison private citizen, that career option is about to be formally taken away.

A hearing board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission recommended Tuesday that the state disbar the former governor, given what they called his "serious misconduct."

"As a former Assistant State's Attorney and elected official, respondent was well aware of his obligation to uphold the law, and as governor, he took an oath to faithfully discharge the duties of the office of governor to the best of his ability," the board wrote. "Instead of doing so, he sought to further his own interests by engaging in a pattern of dishonest and deceptive conduct."

With his wife and daughters standing beside him, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich spoke in front of his residence Wednesday. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern was there.

Blagojevich was represented by counsel but did not appear at his own disbarment hearing last week - a fact not lost on the hearing officers.

"His failure to appear for his disciplinary hearing demonstrates a lack of respect for the disciplinary process and the legal profession," they wrote. "We have considered that Respondent has no prior discipline, but this minimal mitigation does not impact our recommendation."

Blagojevich received his law degree from Pepperdine University. He worked briefly in the office of the Cook County State's Attorney's office, and the law office of former alderman Edward Vrdolyak.

If he chooses to do so, the former governor has 21 days to file an appeal. The final decision on revoking his law license rests with the Illinois Supreme Court.

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