Tribune photo by Zbigniew Bzdak
November 7, 2007
Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan prepares to leave his Kankakee, Ill., home on Nov. 7, 2007. Ryan began serving his six-year racketeering and fraud sentence at the federal correction center in Oxford, Wis. later in the day. A federal jury convicted Ryan in April 2006 on charges that as secretary of state and governor, he doled out sweetheart deals to co-defendant Lawrence Warner, steered state business to cronies for bribes, gutted corruption-fighting efforts to protect political fundraising and misused state resources for political gain. Ryan's co-defendant, lobbyist and longtime friend Lawrence Warner, was also found guilty on all 12 counts against him. Ryan was one of 75 people charged in Operation Safe Road, the federal investigation into the drivers licesnes-for-bribes scandal which involved the Secretary of State's office, which Ryan led from 1991 to 1999. He was the Illinois Governor from 1999 to 2003.