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Court Statement of Former Governor George H. Ryan, Sr.

CHICAGO -- Court Statement of Former Governor George H. Ryan, Sr.:

Judge Pallmeyer:

Thank you for allowing me the time to present my plea directly to you.

As you know, your Honor, I am not a lawyer. In addition to my years in public service, I also practiced pharmacy with my family for over 40 years in Kankakee. I have never really addressed a judge in a legal proceeding. But I have so much at stake in your decision, I felt compelled to come here today to beg you for a continuance in my case. Not only is my freedom, at stake, but my entire life's work is at stake, my reputation and that of two following generations of my family -- two have six adult children -- all married -- and seventeen grandchildren who have a stake in the outcome of my trial for many years into the future.

When I was elected Governor in 1999, I was only the 39th person in the history of Illinois to hold that position. That put me into the spotlight, unlike any other defendant in any other case. I have been told by many that I have been vilified more than any defendant in recent history. In addition, my attorneys say they have never seen a more complicated criminal case. The government has put together a lengthy, complicated series of charges after more than six years of intense investigation. They have amassed hundreds of thousands of pages of interviews, reports and grand jury testimony. Just recently, the government informed my counsel that they have interviewed nearly 1,100 witnesses and are prepared to call over 100 witnesses at trial. In addition, I would guess they have spent several millions of dollars. That makes it very difficult for me to defend myself at trial.

I believe when I practiced pharmacy people came to me because they trusted me and my ability to fill their prescriptions correctly. They had faith in me, your Honor.

That is the same reasons that people carefully select their physicians -- because they have faith in them and their ability to treat their health problems.

Today, your Honor, I ask this Court only that I be allowed to defend myself with the lawyer of my choice: the person that I have faith in, the person that I believe can best take care of my legal ailments while also giving my family the best shot for their future. To be denied or forced to accept anyone other than the attorney of my choice, Dan Webb, seems to me to be unfair and unjust. The stakes are too high and the outcome of the trial too important to force me to proceed without the lawyer of my choice -- Dan Webb.

The government has taken more than six years to compile charges against me. Five more months will not harm anyone, and I beg you, your Honor, to allow the time requested for Dan Webb to defend me. I beg you, your Honor, not to stop me from using a man I have great faith in to defend me and my family. Your Honor, Dan Webb is not replaceable, and I respectfully request that you approve our motion for continuance.

Thank you, Judge Pallmeyer, for hearing me and for taking the time to consider my plea.

GEORGE H. RYAN, SR.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 21, 2005
Words:553
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