Quinn replaces Blagojevich as Illinois governor
By Friday, the day after the Illinois Senate convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich under the state’s Articles of Impeachment and removed him from office, official images and references to Blagojevich had been replaced by those of his successor, former Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn. Quinn was sworn in at 5:40 p.m. Thursday, shortly after the Senate’s decision.
FBI agents arrested Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff John Harris in early December on a federal indictment that alleges the governor tried to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat for campaign contributions and other personal benefits. Blagojevich also is accused of withholding state assistance to cause the firing of editorial critics, and of requiring campaign contributions in exchange for official actions.
In a statement on the governor’s Web site’s home page, http://www.illinois.gov/GOV/, Quinn promised “an open and fair state government worthy of being called the Land of Lincoln.” “The people of Illinois have the right to expect integrity and diligence from their elected officials,” Quinn said in the statement. “In the coming days, we will face some tough choices. I am confident that, by working together, we will meet these challenges to emerge a much stronger and vibrant state.”
After the Senate vote, state maintenance crews quickly removed Blagojevich’s image from a “welcome” sign that greets visitors to the state capitol in Springfield, according to CNN. As the former governor’s picture was taken away, a state employee standing nearby said, “Do we need someone to throw a shoe?”