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Former Ill. Governor George Ryan Freed
Former Ill. Governor George Ryan Freed

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan is officially a free man.

The 79-year-old spent more than five years in prison for corruption, and in January he was moved to home confinement.

Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke says Ryan was released Wednesday morning, a day ahead of schedule.

Ryan spent months in his Kankakee home, only allowed to leave for events such as doctor’s appointments or to attend church.

He was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison in 2007, but his sentence was reduced for good behavior.

The Republican was convicted of racketeering, conspiracy, tax fraud and making false statements to the FBI in 2006. He was also accused of stopping an investigation into secretary of state employees accepting bribes for truck driver’s licenses.

Meanwhile, the halfway house manager who processed the paperwork releasing George Ryan says he will still be subject to one year’s supervision.

Bob Ciulla says Ryan arrived at the Chicago halfway house after 7 a.m. Wednesday. He says Ryan was well organized, so it took just 20 minutes to fill out the necessary forms.

He says Ryan was visibly relieved. Ciulla says he was “clearly happy to have this part of his life behind him.”

Ryan must meet a probation officer periodically — though Ciulla didn’t know how often.