WMBD/WYZZ - SPRINGFIELD --
That's the same group of lawmakers who will decide his fate during his impeachment trial.
Lawmakers hardly even noticed Gov. Rod Blagojevich enter the senate chambers. He slipped in through a back door. Usually the swearing in ceremony is a joyous occasion, but on this day the atmosphere was tense.
“I think the governor did a good job...awkward time for him,” said Sen. Dale Risinger.
Both the old and new house members have impeached the two-term democratic governor, but now it's up to this new group of senators if Blagojevich will remain in office.
“I hope we can find a way to deal with the other issues to find the truth and sort things out and put the business of the people first,” said Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
“It’s obviously going to be a tough time ahead. This is unprecedented territory. And we have to do this properly and do it with respect,” said Sen. Dave Koehler.
Blagojevich had the constitutional duty of presiding over the senate swearing in. But Pat Quinn, the state's lieutenant governor and fierce Blagojevich adversary, said the governor now has the duty of stepping aside.
“I think the people of
“Most people under this distress would have resigned and said they're going to focus fully on the charges the feds are bringing but not Gov. Blagojevich. He's a fighter,” said Sen. Dale Risinger.
That sets up the showdown between the governor and the state senate. Blagojevich’s impeachment trial is set to begin January 26.