SPRINGFIELD — Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich regained his freedom this week. But he could still permanently lose his law license in Illinois.
The Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission will hold a hearing Tuesday morning in Blagojevich’s disciplinary case.
Slightly more than two weeks before President Donald Trump commuted his prison sentence on Feb. 18, Blagojevich was scheduled to sit for a deposition in connection with the ARDC case at the Colorado federal prison facility where he was an inmate.
ARDC spokesman Steven Splitt said the scheduled Feb. 3 deposition never took place.
Sheldon Sorosky, owner at the Law Offices of Sheldon Sorosky Ltd. in Wilmette, one of Blagojevich’s attorneys, did not respond to requests for comment.
The ARDC administrator filed the complaint against Blagojevich in August, charging him with committing crimes “that reflect adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer” and “engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.”
The charges stem from conviction in 2011, when a federal jury found Blagojevich guilty of attempted extortion, wire fraud and corrupt solicitation for trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
The Illinois Supreme Court suspended Blagojevich’s law license on an interim basis in 2011, at the request of the ARDC administrator. His license remains suspended.
He received his license to practice in Illinois in May 1984. He spent a few years in private practice and briefly opened his own firm, before he joined the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office in 1986.
Blagojevich was the fourth Illinois governor to be convicted after leaving office. Three of the four were attorneys who faced disciplinary proceedings from the ARDC.
Both former Gov. Otto Kerner Jr. and Daniel Walker, voluntarily surrendered their law licenses after they were convicted.
Kerner, who served as governor from 1961 to 1968, was convicted in April 1973 on federal charges of bribery, wire fraud, perjury, income tax fraud and income tax evasion. At that time, Kerner was a sitting judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
He resigned from the bench upon his conviction, and his name was removed from the master roll of Illinois attorneys in July 1974.
Walker, who served from 1973 to 1977, pleaded guilty to federal bank fraud in August 1987. Those charges were not related to his time in office.
He was disbarred on consent by the ARDC in October 1987. Walker filed a petition to have his license reinstated, but he later withdrew his petition.