Ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich has arrived at the federal prison in Colorado where he will begin serving a 14-year sentence for corruption.
With two of his lawyers beside him, Blagojevich arrived at the entrance to the low-security federal prison near Littleton, Colo., at about 12:50 p.m. Chicago time.
He had approached the prison earlier, but then headed to a lunch spot for a final meal before he surrendered. He ordered a double patty melt, fries and a soda but didn’t finish the meal, according to Josh Andreakos, general manager of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.
In what has become a familiar scene in the three years since Blagojevich was taken out of his home in handcuffs by federal agents, the former governor had bounded down the stairs of his Ravenswood Manor home hours earlier as cameramen, photographers and reporters crushed around him and well-wishers shouted encouragement.
Reporters shouted out questions as Blagojevich, dressed in a dark blazer and shirt with blue jeans, walked toward a waiting Chrysler sedan. “You are the best,” someone yelled. In a few moments, the crowd quieted down and Blagojevich made a brief statement.
“Saying goodbye is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” he said. “I’m leaving with a heavy heart, a clear conscience, but I have high, high hopes for the future. Among the hopes is that you guys go home and our neighbors can get their neighborhood back. I’ll see you guys when I see ya. I’ll see you around.”