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Illinois Top Prosecutor Asks Court to Remove Governor From Office


The top prosecutor for the U.S. state of Illinois has asked the state Supreme Court to remove Governor Rod Blagojevich from office, following his arrest on corruption charges.

State Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Friday that the governor can no longer fulfill his duties with any legitimacy, and that she has filed a motion asking the court to temporarily remove him from office.

Madigan said she filed a motion with the court to remove him from office, saying he is unfit to serve. She said the moves do not eliminate the need for a trial or impeachment.

Blagojevich, who was arrested Tuesday, is charged with trying to seek bribes in exchange for naming a candidate to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Mr. Obama said he had no part in the alleged scheme, and has called on the governor to resign.

Blagojevich has shown no intention of stepping down from office. Today he prayed with several ministers at his home before going to work, telling them he is innocent.

Illinois lawmakers are scheduled to meet Monday to discuss ways to strip Blagojevich of his power to name Mr. Obama's replacement in the Senate. They will seek to hold a special election for the seat instead.

Prosecutors alleged other instances of abuse of power by Blagojevich. They said he threatened to withhold state aid to a newspaper company [the Tribune Company] unless editorial staff members critical of him were fired. They said he also threatened to withdraw funding from a children's hospital unless he received $50,000 from an executive.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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