Ravenswood reeling after Blagojevich arrest

December 9, 2008 8:43:48 PM PST
The North Side neighborhood where the governor lives is still reeling from this news. The governor returned home Tuesday afternoon. Rod Blagojevich was away from home for a grand total of 8 1/2 hours Tuesday, not a very long time, especially for a governor not known for putting in long hours. He returned home Tuesday afternoon to be with wife Patty and is presumably preparing to have a very difficult discussion with her as well as his two daughters about what comes next.

Rod Blagojevich was uncharacteristically quiet Tuesday afternoon, saying nothing as he returned to the protective cocoon of his Ravenswood home near the intersection of Sunnyside and Richmond. State Police bodyguards used umbrellas to shield Illinois' chief executive from the prying lenses of news photographers.

"I don't feel real sorry for him," said Noreen McGowan, Blagojevich neighbor.

McGowan is among the governor's neighbors who say they are disappointed but not exactly in disbelief.

"I'm not surprised, and I don't think the people of Illinois should be surprised," said McGowan.

"Where the hell are the good people in politics? Where are they?" another neighbor said.

In this North Side neighborhood, where Rod Blagojevich is known as much for the size of his security detail and jogging habits as his political accomplishments, residents do have a soft spot for the governor's family. And thoughts turn to his two daughters who were asleep in their beds when federal agents came knocking.

"I feel terrible for his family. You'd think he would have made better choices to protect them," said Eileen Schnapff, Blagojevich neighbor.

The governor's sister-in-law Deborah Mel was spotted entering Blagojevich's home Tuesday afternoon. She is a newly elected state representative, so it is possible, if there is a movement in Springfield to impeach the governor, she could be asked to vote on whether or not to impeach her own brother-in-law.


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