Rod Blagojevich was arrested on federal corruption charges December 9, 2008.
The charges involved conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. The Justice Department complaint alleges that the governor conspired to commit several "pay-to-play" schemes, including attempting to sell Barack Obama's vacated United States Senate seat to the highest bidder. Ultimately, he appointed fellow Democrat and former state attorney general Roland Burris on New Year's Eve 2008.Burris was seated after some initial opposition in mid-January 2009.
On January 8, 2009, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to impeach Blagojevich by a 114–1 vote for corruption and misconduct in office, the first time such an action has been taken against a governor of Illinois, making him the second state official in Illinois history to be impeached. He was subsequently convicted and removed from office on January 29, 2009 by a unanimous 59–0 vote in the Illinois State Senate.
In a separate vote, the Senate voted unanimously to permanently bar Blagojevich from holding public office again in the state of Illinois.