Former attorney speaks to students about white collar crime

Updated: Thursday Nov. 12, 5:32 p.m.

A former deputy campaign manager for an Illinois governor spoke recently in the St. John’s Belson Moot Courtroom about his role in a scandal that brought down the politician.

After testifying against former Governor, George Ryan, to avoid jail time in a corruption case, Richard Juliano tours the country speaking to law schools students about his crime and the mistakes he made in his political career.

“The conduct in which we had engaged had worn on me,” he said during his Nov. 5 presentation. “I was happy to turn the page.”

Ryan, who served as Governor of Illinois before Rod Blagojevich from 1999 to 2003, is currently serving a six-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2006 for the illegal sale of government licenses, contracts and leases by state employees while he was the Illinois Secretary of State in the mid-90s.

Juliano was convicted of mail fraud related to Ryan’s political actions, plead guilty to charges and testified against Ryan’s chief of staff, Scott Fawell.

The former deputy campaign manager was eventually charged with one count of felony mail fraud relating to the misuse of official state resources for political purposes.

In addition to 300 hours of community service he must complete, Juliano received a $10,000 fine and four years of probation.

Before the investigation took place, Juliano had resigned from his position and relocated his family to Washington, D.C.

During the investigation, Juliano said he was immediately told to hire a lawyer. He said he made the decision to be as helpful to prosecutors as possible.

“My cooperation had been extensive and had come early on,” he said.

Juliano said his mistakes cost him his law license.

“It’s pretty cut-and-dry. You get a felony conviction, and you’re out,” he said.

Juliano also said he learned three lessons from his experience that he wanted to share with students.

“One, if you are in a situation and you have a colleague that says, ‘Here’s what you need to do,’ and the justification is basically that others are doing it, a red flag should be raised,” he said. “Get some perspective on it.

“Two, assume that you will be scrutinized for whatever you do. Is it something that you can defend? Three, have the strength to extricate yourself from the situation.”

With his back turned, the students in the room voted whether they would reinstate him, and most were in favor of him getting his license back. However, most students would have charged him with a crime.

Though the majority of the group raised their hands in his favor, a few students were vocal about why he did not deserve his license back.

“He shouldn’t get his license back,” said senior Chris Godfrey. “People deserve second chances, but that doesn’t mean they should get them in the same field.”

Aaron White, a second-year law student, also disagreed with the majority of the students.

“From an idealist standpoint, I’d say no. He’s a lawyer…and he knowingly broke the law and would have continued to do so,” he said. “His apology, like most, only came as a result of your wrong doing blowing up in your face. However it’s not a true apology.”

11/12 correction: The article originally stated that former Illinois Governor George Ryan was in office from 1998 to 2002. He was actually in office from 1999 to 2003.