Illinois moves to oust governor amid graft scandal
Illinois' attorney general moved to oust embattled governor Rod Blagojevich Friday amid charges he tried to sell president-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder.
Blagojevich has refused to resign over the sordid allegations of kickbacks and chicanery exposed in FBI wire-taps and Illinois lawmakers are expected to begin impeachment proceedings Monday in a hastily called special session.
Chief of staff John Harris, who was also charged with fraud and solicitation of bribery Tuesday in what prosecutors called a "political corruption crime spree," tendered his resignation on Friday morning.
Blagojevich, who has declined to comment publicly on the charges, issued a press release saying he was "pleased" to sign a bill providing insurance coverage to parents of children with autism into law.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the state cannot wait for lawmakers to act on an impeachment -- a process which could take weeks or months -- because "state government is paralysed by a governor who is incapable of governing."
So her office asked the state supreme court to impose a restraining order stripping Blagojevich of the bulk of his powers while considering her request to have him temporarily replaced by the state's lieutenant governor.