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Illinois High Court Rejects Blagojevich Challenge


The Illinois Supreme Court has rejected a bid to remove the state's corruption-tainted governor from office, in the wake of charges that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.

The state attorney general, Lisa Madigan, had asked the court to remove Blagojevich from office, on the grounds that he can no longer fulfill his duties with any legitimacy. But a spokesman for the court said Wednesday that the motion was rejected.

Blagojevich was arrested on corruption charges last week for allegedly trying to seek personal gain in exchange for naming a candidate to fill the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama. The governor said he hopes to tell his side of the story soon. He also has refused mounting calls to resign.

Mr. Obama said this week that an internal review shows that neither he nor anyone on his staff had inappropriate contact with the governor about naming a replacement. The president-elect also said prosecutors asked him to withhold the results of the internal probe until next week, because releasing the information now could interfere with the federal investigation.

A bipartisan panel of 21 state lawmakers was meeting for a second day to determine whether to take steps to oust the 52-year-old governor. The inquiry panel will recommend whether the state House of Representatives should move to impeach Blagojevich. His attorney was taking part in the proceedings.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.