George Ryan Roundup
By Margaret Lyons in News on Nov 7, 2007 5:44PM
George Ryan starts his prison sentence today, and the Sun-Times and Trib have helpfully chronicled every move the former governor has made since last night. You know what that means: time for a Ryan Round Up! Olé!
Yesterday, the 73-year-old released this statement to the public, again claiming innocence and thanking his family and legal team. At 5:50 this morning, Ryan left his home in Kankakee in a van driven by his son, George Ryan Jr. They drove to the Original Pancake House on the Gold Coast where Ryan did not get pancakes. (Here's a little tip, from Chicagoist to you: If you go to an OPH, you don't have to decide between omelets and pancakes. Omelets come with pancakes! Holla.) Perhaps he was still full from the tortellini soup he had last night. Anyway, after coffee, Ryan and his wife met up with his lawyer, former governor Jim Thompson, and a driver drove them off in a black Audi.
Now he's off to the Oxford federal prison camp in Wisconsin, a low-security facility that an incarceration consultant says is just " a bunch of middle-age fat guys sitting around reading." Oxford has modern exercise equipment, no cell blocks, a track and culinary and college-level courses. Ryan isn't the only new addition to the Oxford facility today. A Buffalo Grove church collected 5,000 books for the prison's library, and they're delivering the reading material today — by coincidence.
Which brings us to the eviscerating editorials. The Trib says, "Ryan diabolically put the enrichment of himself and everyone around him ahead of state government's crucial responsibilities," but it's John Kass' condemnation of Ryan and thinkpiece on shame that really leaves an impression. Mark Brown goes a more direct route, calling Ryan a "horse's behind," and the Sun-Times unsigned says Ryan has "no one to blame but himself."