Illinois House votes to impeach the Governor

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has voted to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, an unprecedented step in state history. The action sets the stage for a Senate trial on whether he should be thrown out of office for corruption and abuse of power.
     House members found evidence that the two-term Democrat had abused his power, including improperly spending tax money, adopting programs without legislative approval and violating state hiring laws. Blagojevich has denied wrongdoing.
     The House began impeachment proceedings after federal authorities arrested Blagojevich Dec. 9. He's accused, among other things, of attempting to sell an appointment to fill President-elect Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat for political favors.
     Blagojevich was out jogging in Chicago as lawmakers in Springfield voted to impeach him. He emerged from his home on the city's North Side in a black jogging suit. He berated members of the media for bothering his neighbors and refused to respond to questions before running off down the street.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)