Blago guilty verdict spurs reaction in Suburban Chicago
Updated: October 28, 2011 12:32PM
Surprised? Not really.
Wilmette residents and others polled in downtown Wilmette Tuesday afternoon didn’t seem shocked at the news that jurors at his second trial found former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty of 17 counts of wire fraud, extortion and more.
Instead, the news elicited a few admissions of almost weary satisfaction that the case was over and the guilty verdicts were in.
“As a politician, you need to be honest and serve the people,” Wilmette resident Colleen DiNunzio said Tuesday afternoon, less than an hour after a federal jury handed down their rulings. “You should be held accountable.”
DiNunzio, who shared her comments while eating an ice cream cone on Central Street, was impressed with the number of guilty verdicts: “That’s wild.”
Natasha Miller, another Wilmette resident, wasn’t shocked either.
“I think people lost their confidence in him a long time ago,” Miller said.
As she balanced an armful of video tapes outside the Wilmette Public Library, village resident Barbara Thompson said she, too, was unsurprised.
However, some people Pioneer Press spoke to on Tuesday admitted they had doubts about the outcome.
Chicagoan Heather Trevino, who said she had been following events during Blagojevich’s second trial online, had wondered whether his decision to take the stand might work in his favor.
“I thought it might be a case of people liking him, because he is personable, and deciding, ‘Yes, he’s guilty, but so are a lot of other politicians.’”
Trevino did think the verdicts were just.
“If I ran my life like that, I’d be in jail,” she said. “If I stole on my job, I’d be in jail.”
There were even occasional questions about whether Blagojevich should have been found guilty.
Des Plaines resident Stanley Kot wondered whether the ex-governor had done anything that other politicians hadn’t done.
Evanston resident Bill Keeley’s reaction was even more pointed.
“I think he’s very guilty of being a jerk,” Keeley said. “I’m not so sure he’s guilty of much else.”