Illinois Representative John Bradley released the following statement on the House vote to impeach Gov. Blagojevich.
Bradley and Illinois House Vote Overwhelmingly to Impeach Governor Blagojevich
Senate will now determine whether governor will be convicted and removed from office
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Just one month following the arrest of Gov. Rod Blagojevich on a number of federal corruption charges, state Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, and the Illinois House voted overwhelmingly on Friday to impeach the governor, setting up a trial in the Illinois Senate and the governor's possible removal from office.
"Today we voted to do what we believe is in the best interests of the state of Illinois," Bradley said. "It is unfortunate for every citizen of this state that we find ourselves in this situation, but the governor has violated the public trust in some of the worst ways imaginable and he must be held accountable for his actions. It would have been much better if he had done the right thing and resigned, but it has become clear that, for the good of the state, he must be removed from office if he will not go willingly."
On Thursday, a special House committee formed to investigate the possible impeachment of the governor recommended impeachment on a 21-0 vote. The committee based its vote on evidence that the governor violated state hiring laws, attempted to trade official duties for campaign contributions, refused to comply with state Freedom of Information Act laws, and expanded government programs without the proper authority. Blagojevich is now the only governor in Illinois history to be impeached.
"We're making history for all the wrong reasons, but it's something that had to be done in order to move our state forward," Bradley said. "We've done what we had to do today, and now this matter is in the hands of the Senate. I hope they act quickly so we can move past this low point in our state's history and address the serious challenges that Illinois faces in the coming year."
The House voted nearly unanimously, 114-1, to impeach Blagojevich. The next step in the process now goes to the Illinois Senate. If two-thirds of elected senators vote to convict the governor, he will be removed from office and disqualified from holding any future public office in Illinois.
For more information, please contact Bradley's constituent service office at 618-997-9697.