Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison Wednesday.
Convicted on 18 federal counts, the governor who was impeached and booted out of office had tried to trade on his ability to appoint Barack Obama's successor in the Senate in exchange for campaign cash or an appointment to a federal job.
The governor famously described the vacant seat as "f---ing golden" and an opportunity not to be wasted, statements captured on federal wiretaps.
"When it is the governor who goes bad, the fabric of Illinois is torn and disfigured and not easily repaired," Judge James Zagel said as he handed down the sentence.
Prosecutors wanted 15 to 20 years.
Blagojevich, who at all times in his political life played the role of jaunty, glad-handing performer, even as he was on trial, seemed subdued Wednesday as he apologized to the court for his misdeeds.
"I'm here convicted of crimes," Blagojevich said. "I am accepting of it, I acknowledge it and I of course am unbelievably sorry for it."
Blagojevich, who will be 55 on Dec. 10, embraced his wife and brushed tears from her cheeks after the sentence was read. He'll go behind bars on Feb. 16.
[ The Complete Report: Huffington Post Chicago's Rod Blagojevich page. ]
[ The FBI's Release: Longest Prison Term for Ex-Governor. ]