Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ex-Gov. Ryan sentenced to 6½ years

Former Gov. George Ryan was sentenced to 6½ years in prison today following his historic conviction for steering lucrative state business to cronies in return for vacations, gifts and other benefits for himself and his family.

Ryan's co-defendant in the case, businessman-lobbyist Lawrence Warner, 67, was sentenced to 41 months in prison.

"People of this state expected better, and I let them down," Ryan said in a statement delivered to the courtroom before the sentencing.

Ryan said he was proud of his accomplishments in public life, but added that he "should've been more vigilant. Should've been more watchful. Should've been a lot more things, I guess."

Still, he stopped short of taking responsibility for the crimes a jury found he committed.

Ryan called his sentencing the saddest day of his life and told the court that what he dreaded most was separation from his wife, Lura Lynn.

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