Gov. arrested: What happens next?

December 9, 2008 7:04:25 PM PST
Will the governor resign, be impeached, or continue to run the state while facing corruption charges? Lt. Governor Pat Quinn seldom talks to the governor, and for months has been calling on him to "come clean." On Tuesday, Lt. Quinn called Blagojevich's behavior embarrassing and shameful.

"I recommend to the governor to realize what he really does know already and that is he cannot carry out his responsibilities today and he should, in my opinion, step aside," said Lt. Governor Pat Quinn.

In the order of succession, Quinn would take over should Blagojevich resign, but some of the early signals are that he won't do that. The governor's legislative liaison dispatched word to party leaders after Blagojevich's arrest this morning that the governor is still the governor.

"Some of the business of the state will continue, but we are leaderless and he should step down now. There's no way he can conduct the business of the state with this kind of a distraction," said Sen. Christine Radogno, incoming Senate GOP Leader.

"Any chief executive would have to devote their entire time to fixing the problems of Illinois. Even on his best day, the governor was never in Springfield," said State Rep. Jack Franks, D-Woodstock.

There has been significant disdain aimed at the Governor from both sides of the aisle. Party leaders have blamed him for Springfield's legislative deadlocks. They've already prepared for the possibility of impeaching the Governor, and there are calls today for that process to move forward if Blagojevich chooses not to resign.

"We cannot allow this to fester. We cannot allow this to continue. I would ask the speaker...to go forward with impeachment proceedings," said Franks.

Impeachment proceedings - were they to happen - would begin in the Illinois House. Speaker Mike Madigan has not yet said what his intentions may be.

Much of what could happen depends on what the governor chooses to do. He has thus far been charged - but not yet convicted.

"I'm not aware of any impediment to Governor Blagojevich proceeding on, as odd as that is in this environment, but he is innocent until proven guilty. These are charges but I'm not sure what his legal status is differently as governor today than it was yesterday," said Pat Collins, former asst. U.S. Attorney.


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