Blago Loses Security Clearance - NBC New York

Blago Loses Security Clearance

Governor denied access to Homeland Security information



    Blago Loses Security Clearance
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    Blagojevich is "flying in the dark when it comes to security," Jay E. Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association, says.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has revoked embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich's access to classified federal security information, officials said Friday.

    Amy Kudwa, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C., confirmed the revocation but declined to comment further on circumstances surrounding the decision.

    The move withdraws the governor's access to classified information, although Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero said other individuals within state and local government have access.

    The revocation was "pretty standard procedure," Guerrero said.

    The Illinois Emergency Management Agency received a memo about the department's decision on Dec. 9, the day Blagojevich was arrested, said spokeswoman Patti Thompson. The memo was brief and did not include a reason for the action.

    "It doesn't change day-to-day operations very much at all," she said. "Several other people, both with Homeland Security and law enforcement, are receiving that type of information on a regular basis."

    Blagojevich did not normally receive briefings on homeland security matters, Thompson said. He would only be informed of high-profile cases, she said, citing examples such as a 2006 plot to blow up the Sears Tower and, the same year, plans to bomb planes flying between the U.S. and London.

    The federal charges against Blagojevich include allegations that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat for money or a high-paying job. That triggered calls for his resignation and the beginning of impeachment proceedings in the Illinois Legislature.

    Blagojevich denies any wrongdoing and has rejected calls to resign.

    Frank Main has details in the Chicago Sun-Times.