A federal judge on Tuesday declined to reduce the 14-year prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Blagojevich, who has already served 4 and 1/2 years, remains slated to be released in 2024. He was convicted in 2011 of trying to trade President Obama's old U.S. Senate seat for campaign cash after he won the presidency.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel said Blagojevich still stands guilty of the same corruption even after the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out five of the 18 counts for which he was convicted.
"Even after 4-1/2 years, the defendant hasn't taken the first step in rehabilitation," Assistant U.S. District Attorney Debra Bonamici said in court Tuesday, according to NBC Chicago. "As long as the defendant is unable or unwilling to accept his actions, there can be no rehabilitation. ... These are denials of guilt."
Blagojevich, now 59 and gray-haired, was shown on courtroom camera from his Colorado prison as he learned his fate. He pleaded with the court, saying he's "trying to be the best man I can."
His wife and two daughters also offered emotional pleas to release Blagojevich early.
"I find his behavior beyond serious and quite disrespectful," Zagel said. "I am sympathetic to them [his family], but as I said four years ago, the fault lies with the governor."