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OFF BEAT: Wife of jailed ex-governor sues radio station for $30,000


Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich may be locked away in a federal prison cell serving a 14-year sentence, but he is still making news — or at least his image is.

His wife, Patti Blagojevich, recently sued a radio station for using the ex-governor's photo on Chicago-area billboards as well as on trains and buses. The advertisements reportedly showed Mr. Blagojevich next to the words “He Never Listens to FM News 101.1.”

Ms. Blagojevich evidently didn't like the station's attempts to profit from her husband's notoriety. The ex-governor, who once launched his own media campaign to proclaim his innocence, was found guilty in 2011 in connection with corruption charges related to the selling of a Senate seat vacated by then President-elect Barack Obama.

Now Mr. Blagojevich's spouse is seeking $30,000 in damages, claiming the radio station used the advertising to attract listeners and increase its revenues, although reports say the advertising campaign flopped.

Reports also say the radio station's ads drew listener complaints for being insensitive and telephone calls from an attorney representing the Blagojevich family. That led to the station eventually placing a smiley face over his billboard image.