Before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer imposed the sentence, Ryan apologized to voters for his actions.
“When they elected me as the governor of this state, they expected better. And I let them down. For that I apologize,” Ryan said. “The result deeply pains me. This is the saddest day of my life.”
Ryan, 72, showed no expression when the sentence was handed down. Nor did his wife Lura Lynn, who sat behind him and beside former Gov. Jim Thompson.
Ryan was convicted in April of steering contracts and leases to his pals, including co-defendant Lawrence Warner, while taking gifts, vacations and cash in return. Ryan was also convicted of lying to FBI agents.
The sentence is the exact same term given to Ryan’s former right hand man and protege, Scott Fawell. But Fawell, who testified against Ryan, was just 45 years old when sentenced in 2003.
Pallmeyer said Ryan’s conviction could overshadow what he did in a lifetime of politics.