Operation Safe Road: Former Illinois Governor Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison and Ordered to Pay $603,348 in Restitution
On September 6, former Illinois Governor George Ryan was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Chicago, IL to 78 months in prison and ordered to pay $603,348 in restitution as a result of his conviction on charges of racketeering, conspiracy, mail and tax fraud and making false statements. Lawrence Warner, Ryan's long-time personal associate and a businessman/lobbyist in Chicago, IL, was sentenced to 41 months in jail and ordered to pay fines and restitution totaling $1.7 million.
A federal jury convicted the two men on April 17, 2006. Specifically, Ryan was found guilty of for receiving illegal cash payments and gifts, vacations and personal services for himself and his family while serving as Illinois Secretary of State from 1991 to 1999 and as Governor from 1999 to 2003.
The underlying joint-agency investigation 'Operation Safe Road' initially focused on bribes in exchange for commercial driver's licenses for unqualified truck drivers when Ryan was the Secretary of State. The investigation subsequently expanded to include political corruption and led to the indictment and subsequent convictions of several of Ryan's top aides and associates.