Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ex-con and ex-Governor Dan Walker talks about George Ryan

Earlier this week, former Ill. Governor George Ryan was found guilty on various corruption charges.

The Illinois Republican's lawyers are certainly going to appeal, the turmoil within the Ryan jury gives them a little more to meat to chew on than in most cases. As things stand now, Ryan is going to prison. He's likely headed to a so-called "Club Fed" prison, but it will be no vacation. One of Ryan's predecessors, Democrat Dan Walker, spent time in prison as well.

As for what Ryan can expect, Walker knows best. He served his sentence at the Duluth minimum security prison.

From AP:

In prison, Walker scrubbed toilets and picked up cigarette butts, using a wooden rod that had the words "Governor's Stick" burnt into it.

He was also threatened by fellow inmates and forced to stand outside in the cold while waiting for meals, but Walker said the most humiliating part of the ordeal was being subjected to random searches where prison guards would bark out "strip, squat and spread."

Walker, 83, served 17 months in a minimum security prison after pleading guilty in 1987 to bank fraud, perjury and other charges related to his ownership of a suburban Chicago bank. None of the crimes were linked to his term as governor, which he served from 1973 to 1977.

"Having been there -- I repeat, having been there -- I do not wish jail for any person," Walker told the Chicago Sun-Times in a phone interview from his home near San Diego. "I really feel sorry for George and his family. ... I wish no man to have that and no man to have that disgrace that I had."

Not "Club Fed."

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