George Ryan
10:56 am
Fri January 7, 2011

Former Ill. Gov. Ryan allowed to leave prison to visit ailing wife

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that former Ill. Gov. George Ryan, currently in prison, was allowed to leave prison Wednesday to visit his very ill wife, Lura Lynn.

The paper says that the visit was revealed when prosecutors filed response to a motion made by Ryan's lawyers  to let their client out on bail.

And what about special treatment for Ryan based upon his former position?

The paper explains:

Prosecutors argued the Court of Appeals for the Seventh District should reject Ryan's request because he "has not shown that his appeal is likely to succeed."

They also contended that Ryan's circumstances were not "exceptional," and while the government "does not dispute that Mrs. Ryan's medical condition is "grave" and "truly unfortunate," that situation does not warrant special treatment.

Prosecutors then pointed out that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons "granted Ryan an escorted trip" from the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., to Riverside Medical Center, the Kankakee hospital where his wife is being treated.

Ryan visited for about two hours between 7:30 p.m. and 9:40 p.m., they said.

"Thus, through normal prison procedures, Ryan has been able to visit with his wife," the government said.

"The district court correctly determined that Ryan should not receive treatment that other defendants would not receive based on his wife's medical condition."

In an update to this story, the Associated Press reports that Ryan's attorney, former Gov. James Thompson, says it's "pretty shabby" that prosecutors revealed Ryan's two-hour visit to his ailing wife in Kankakee. Here's more from the AP story:

Thompson told WGN-TV in Chicago that Ryan was picked up at the prison, driven to the Kankakee hospital and given two hours alone to visit his wife.

Lura Lynn Ryan is hospitalized with complications from chemotherapy. Thompson says George Ryan wasn't allowed to speak with his children and grandchildren. Afterward, he was taken back to federal prison.

Thompson told the Chicago Sun-Times that he didn't want to mislead the media. He says the Bureau of Prisons told him the media shouldn't be notified of Ryan's visit. He told the newspaper "we danced every time we got a call from the press."