Blagojevich begins prison term
LITTLETON, Colo. – Convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich entered a federal prison in Colorado to begin a 14-year sentence for corruption on Thursday, the latest chapter in the downfall of a charismatic politician that seemed more like a bizarre reality TV show than a legal battle.
Followed by helicopters and TV news crews broadcasting his every move, Blagojevich stepped out of a black SUV and walked into the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in suburban Denver just before noon. Along with his attorneys, the 55-year-old Democrat spent about an hour driving around the facility, stopping for lunch and waving at onlookers before relinquishing his freedom.
"I think it's kind of surreal to him, but he seems in good spirits," said Brian Pyle, who owns the Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers in Littleton where Blagojevich had lunch. Pyle said he shook the former governor's hand as he left, telling him: "Stay strong." He said Blagojevich thanked him.
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