Attorney General: State Won't Pay For Blagojevich's Legal Defense

01/18/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

CHICAGO — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has rejected a request that the state pay for Gov. Rod Blagojevich's legal defense.

Under Illinois law, the attorney general must represent state officials "in court." Blagojevich's attorney, Edward Genson, says since Madigan has a conflict of interest after asking the state's highest court to remove him from office, the state of Illinois must pay for Blagojevich's legal defense.

Madigan received the request in a letter from Genson late Wednesday. The attorney general's chief of staff, Anne Spillane, responded with a letter to David Ellis, general counsel for state House Speaker Michael Madigan.

She said Genson's assertion was "meritless" because the impeachment proceedings are not taking place in court.

Federal investigators captured Blagojevich on secret wiretaps saying he was financially strapped.

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Information from: the Chicago Sun-Times, http://www.suntimes.com

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