About Those Benefits, Mr. Blagojevich…

If the Senate convicts him, Gov. Rod Blagojevich will be removed from office and replaced by Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn, a fellow Democrat.

Blagojevich would stop receiving his $177,000-a-year salary upon a Senate conviction, with his final check prorated to the day of
his removal.

He will retain his state pension, unless he is convicted of felony corruption charges in federal court.  In fact, the 52-year-old Blagojevich isn't eligible to start collecting retirement benefits for another three years, in any case.

Other than a ban from holding office again, the state's constitution rules out further punishment after an office holder is removed through impeachment.

Proceedings on corruption charges are likely to be delayed for sometime, with the U.S. Attorney not expected to file an indictment on those charges until April.

Former Gov. George Ryan, who was convicted of racketeering and fraud, was stripped his $197,000-a-year pension by a state board.
Ryan went to court to try to keep his pension but lost.

Less certain is what would happen Blagojevich's state security detail if the Senate impeaches him.

Traditionally, governors extend protection to their predecessor for a year, according to Republican former Gov. Jim Thompson. But it's "strictly a custom, not a right."

Quinn said on Wednesday that he expects the governor to take the state plane for the last time in his trip to Springfield Thursday morning.  If he is impeached, which Quinn fully expects will happen Thursday, he will return to Chicago on his own dime.

A spokesman for the governor, Lucio Guerrero, told NBC that the governor intends to fly to Springfield on the state plane, make his statement, and take the state plane back home before the vote, "to avoid any awkwardness."

Quinn's office would not talk about what security Blagojevich might be given if he leaves office.

[Jan. 28:  Blago's Trial:  Prosecution Rests]

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