Former Illinois Gov. Ryan is headed to a halfway house

(MCT) — CHICAGO — Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan is scheduled to be transferred from a federal prison camp in Terre Haute, Ind., to a halfway house next week as he nears the end of his 6½-year prison sentence for corruption, according to people close to his family.

It is typical for federal inmates to be moved from prison to a work-release facility about six months or less before their scheduled release. Ryan is set to be freed from custody by July 4, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website.

Ryan entered prison on Nov. 7, 2007. His wife of more than 50 years, Lura Lynn, died in June 2011.

Ryan’s conviction for fraud, racketeering and other charges was the culmination of the federal Operation Safe Road investigation that exposed rampant bribery in state driver’s license facilities while he was Illinois secretary of state. A federal jury convicted Ryan in 2006 of steering millions of dollars in state business to lobbyists and friends in return for vacations, gifts and other benefits to Ryan and his family.

Illinois has had two former governors in prison since last March 15 when Ryan’s successor, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, entered a federal prison in Colorado to begin serving a 14-year sentence.