Blagojevich to speak before prison

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CHICAGO (AP) — Rod Blagojevich plans to make a public statement in person before he reports to federal prison for his 14-year sentence on corruption charges, his spokesman said Wednesday.

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CHICAGO (AP) — Rod Blagojevich plans to make a public statement in person before he reports to federal prison for his 14-year sentence on corruption charges, his spokesman said Wednesday.

Glenn Selig told The Associated Press that the 55-year-old impeached governor won’t slip out of Chicago and will speak before cameras here days before he reports to a federal prison March 15. He declined to offer details, including what Blagojevich might say or on what day.

Since his December sentencing for corruption, Blagojevich hasn’t granted interviews. His attorneys have said he wants to enter prison in a dignified way, without any media frenzy. That’s fueled speculation he could try to leave Chicago days in advance without comment. But Selig says Blagojevich never intended to do that.

"The governor has always taken things head on and never tried to circumvent anything," he said. Selig added that he hopes reporters will give Blagojevich some privacy to bid a final farewell to his wife and two young daughters.

Blagojevich asked if he could serve his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Colorado, and a judge made that recommendation. It’s widely believed that is where he is headed, but prison officials won’t confirm that, citing security issues.

While authorities haven’t confirmed where Blagojevich is bound, they have assigned him a prison number. It is 40892-424 — eight digits that will likely be affixed to his prison garb.

A judge in December handed Blagojevich a stiff, 14-year sentence. Jurors convicted him over two trials on 18 corruption counts, including charges he tried to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

Famously gabby as governor and even during his legal proceedings, Blagojevich has been unusually tight-lipped in recent months. On Tuesday, he did make a brief comment to Fox News Chicago TV cameras as he left home for a jog. He appeared subdued as he spoke, stretching as he warmed up in a blue jogging suit.

"As bad as things are now, for us as a family, I’ve been blessed to have two precious daughters, a wonderful wife who is a wonderful mother," Blagojevich said. "We’re just going to get through these real hard times together."

When a neighbor passed and wished him well, Blagojevich responded, saying, "It’s going to end up in the right place." He didn’t explain what he meant.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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