Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges of bribery and corruption involving, among other alleged illegal activities, benefiting from the issuance of bogus commercial driver licenses.
A federal grand jury last week handed up a 22-count indictment against Ryan and an associate charging racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, tax fraud and making false statements.
The indictment capped a five-year investigation into allegations, including that workers under Ryan -- while he was secretary of state -- sold CDLs for money that was then used in his campaign for Governor.
Among other charges, Ryan is alleged to have ended an internal investigation into the bogus CDL sales after subordinates learned that a truck driver with an illegally obtained license was involved in a fatal crash. He also is accused of lying to investigators about using money from the CDL sales for his campaign coffers.