Burris will not face perjury charges

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A perjury investigation against U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s office has concluded that no charges are warranted.

A perjury investigation against U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s office has concluded that no charges are warranted. State’s Attorney John Schmidt, in downstate Springfield, said while Burris may have given incomplete answers to the Illinois House Impeachment Committee regarding his Senate appointment by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Burris did not perjure himself, and there was no evidence to suggest otherwise. “There is insufficient evidence to charge Senator Burris with perjury,” Schmidt said. Burris said in a written statement that he is relieved the truth has finally come out. “I am obviously very pleased with today’s decision, and I am glad the truth has prevailed,” he said. “I have said from the beginning, I have never engaged in any pay-to-play, never perjured myself and came to this seat in an honest and legal way.” Del Marie Cobb, a spokeswoman for Burris, said after the senator and his attorneys received the transcripts from his January testimony from the impeachment committee, they realized he had not mentioned certain facts leading up to his Senate appointment. So an amended affidavit dated Feb. 4 was filed and sent to state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-25th Dist., who chaired the impeachment committee. In part, the affidavit stated that Blagojevich’s brother, Rob, called Burris in October to seek his assistance in fundraising for the former governor. Burris had asked Rob about the status of the Senate selection and Rob told him he had heard Burris’ name mentioned as a possible candidate. Burris said he then declined to help fundraise for the former governor for fear it would be “viewed as an attempt to curry favor with him regarding his decision to appoint a successor to President Obama.” And Burris said he would continue to ignore calls from critics for him to step down. “I absolutely, positively will not resign,” Burris told the Defender shortly after the calls were made for him to quit. “There are too many issues facing families here in Illinois for me to quit on them now.” ______ Copyright 2009 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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