St. Louis Public Radio News
2:12 am
Tue April 14, 2009

Blagojevich pleads not guilty to corruption charges

Chicago – Ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges.

Tuesday's plea makes official Blagojevich's denial of political malfeasance that authorities say included a scheme to sell President Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat.

Blagojevich looked relaxed as he stood in court today alongside his brother, who also pleaded not guilty in the scheme.

The former governor didn't make a statement before the plea, but he told a throng of reporters as he entered the courthouse earlier that he's "innocent of every single accusation."

Blagojevich also is charged with planning to squeeze money from companies seeking state business. And prosecutors contend he plotted to use the financial muscle of the governor's office to pressure the Chicago Tribune to fire editorial writers who had called for his impeachment.