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Judge ends ex-Blagojevich aide Harris’ probation early

John Harris former chief staff for imprisoned Gov. Rod Blagojevich is free after federal judge Chicago Thursday April 15 2013

John Harris, former chief of staff for imprisoned Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is free after a federal judge in Chicago on Thursday, April 15, 2013, ended his two-year probation period early. | AP Photo

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Rod Blagojevich’s ex-chief of staff is free and clear of the justice system after a federal judge in Chicago ended his two-year probation period early.

An order posted Thursday grants John Harris’ request to cut short the oversight requiring contact with a probation officer and permission to travel out of state.

The 51-year-old helped convict former Gov. Blagojevich of trying to sell President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat and other charges. Blagojevich is serving a 14-year term.

Thanks to his extensive cooperation, Harris was sentenced last year to just 10 days in jail and two years’ probation for bribery conspiracy.

Harris’ motion said he’s excelled as a power-line electrician but that probation complicated his need to travel to storm-damaged regions. It also says he’s an assistant leader with Boy Scouts.

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