Former Gov. George Ryan and friend Lawrence Warner are ordered to report to federal prison Wednesday after the U.S. Supreme Court denied their plea to remain free while trying to appeal their 2006 corruption conviction before the nation’s highest court. Ryan will start his 6 ½-year prison sentence in a federal facility near Oxford, Wis., while Warner will start his 3 ½-year sentence in Colorado. They both remained free for more than a year-and-a-half after being convicted for racketeering and fraud for using public office for private gain during Ryan’s years as secretary of state (1991 to 1999) and as governor (1999 to 2003).
One day prior, the U.S. Department of Justice’s solicitor general thought Ryan and Warner should not remain free pending an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Last month, a full panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that they would not receive a retrial.
Former Gov. James Thompson, Ryan’s lawyer, responded to the Supreme Court's denial Tuesday in a Chicago press conference (posted on the Web). He said that the defense team is disappointed, but Ryan will report to jail as ordered.
“We knew the petition for bail was a long-shot,” Thompson said. “No Supreme Court justice has granted bail under the provisions of the Bail Reform Act for over 30 years. So, obviously, this was always a likely outcome.
“We are exerting, as we do for any client of Winston & Strawn, every effort on Gov. Ryan’s behalf. And we file an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States on the merits of his conviction.”