Illinois Supreme Court asked to declare Governor unfit

December 13th, 2008 - 11:05 am ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Chicago, Dec.13 (ANI): Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked the State Supreme Court to grant a temporary restraining order barring Governor Rod Blagojevich from completing state business and declaring him unfit to serve.

Blagojevich faces federal charges of trying to sell President-elect Barack Obamas now-vacant Senate seat, bribing The Chicago Tribune to get rid of an editorial writer who criticized him and participating in other “pay to play” tactics.

According to the Washington Times, despite the Madigan lawsuit and nearly unanimous calls across the board to resign, Blagojevich has gone to work each day since his arrest and subsequent release by FBI agents on Tuesday.

“I recognize this is an extraordinary request, but these are extraordinary circumstances,” the paper quoted Madigan as saying during a press conference on Friday.

“In light of his arrest, Governor Blagojevich can no longer fulfill his official duties with … legitimacy,” she added.

If granted, the request would strip Blagojevich of nearly all of his legal authority, including naming a new U.S. senator, signing legislation, directing state contracts and dispersing state funds.

Madigan declared state business dead since Mr. Blagojevich’’s arrest.

On Friday, Blagojevich’’s chief of staff, John Harris, offered his letter of resignation, according to a source close to the governor’’s office.

Harris, who joined the Blagojevich administration in 2005, has been charged by federal authorities with the governor on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery.

State lawmakers are preparing to meet on Monday to begin what could be lengthy impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich.

The Washington Times says that the Supreme Court could respond to the temporary restraining order and move Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn into the governor’’s seat within a few days.

The states Supreme Court is authorized to declare the governor unfit to serve. Ms.
Madigan said the governors legal disability to “very broad and not isolated to a physical and mental disability.”

Meanwhile, the Obama transition team is keeping quiet until it completes the internal
review that Obama said Thursday would be made public.

Obama, in public comments Thursday, said he was “appalled” by Blagojevichs behavior and said neither he nor aides had any involvement.

Presented with detailed questions on whether the transition recommended longtime friend and supporter Valerie Jarrett for the senate seat and whether his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, had contacted or presented a list of candidates to the governor’’s office, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs did not offer answers. (ANI)

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