05/03/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011


Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich again declared his innocence in a statement released by his publicist in response to the sweeping, 19-count indictment on federal corruption charges unveiled Thursday (emphasis added):

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich released the following statement, via the PR firm that represents him, responding to the indictment announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois:

"I'm saddened and hurt but I am not surprised by the indictment. I am innocent. I now will fight in the courts to clear my name. I would ask the good people of Illinois to wait for the trial and afford me the presumption of innocence that they would give to all their friends and neighbors."

The PR firm representing the governor, The Publicity Agency, will send out alerts and advisories as developments warrant.

The governor is not in Chicago and will not be doing any interviews. He is spending family time with his wife and kids during spring break. They ask that you respect their privacy.