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Blagojevich tanned and muscled in prison — and his hair is lighter

Rod Blagojevich

Rod Blagojevich

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Updated: May 25, 2012 8:18AM

Sporting a tan, lighter (but not gray) hair and five pounds more muscle, Rod Blagojevich hasn’t found prison too cruel, his onetime lawyer says.

Of course, Blagojevich just began his 14-year sentence about a month ago, and he’s spent it working in the kitchen washing pots and pans and doing some chores outdoors.

For the first 90 days, prison inmates must do menial jobs, says his onetime attorney, Sam Adam Jr.

But by the summer, Blagojevich hopes to land a job in the library, to teach Shakespeare or Greek Mythology.

Sam Adam Jr. and his father, Sam Adam, both visited the former governor on Sunday in federal prison outside of Denver. The report is the first public glimpse of what the ex-governor is facing behind bars. Blagojevich is the second Illinois governor doing prison time right now. Former Gov. George Ryan is serving a 6 1/2 sentence

Adam Jr. said he, his father and his son took a train ride across the country to visit the former client. The two represented Blagojevich in his first trial, which ended in a mistrial on all but one count.

Patti Blagojevich and the couple’s two daughters saw Rod Blagojevich in prison about two weeks ago.

He’s no longer allowed to dye his hair as his longtime barber has admitted to doing for years. But Blagojevich is “not at all” gray, Sam Adam Jr. reports. “It’s brown. Who knew?”

The former governor has put on five to 10 pounds of muscle, from working out behind bars, Adam says.

Blagojevich has a cellmate at the correctional center in Littleton, Colo.

Blagojevich, 55, who was often seen running in Chicago neighborhoods, is keeping up with it in prison. He’s running five days a week for four to five miles, Adam says.

Blagojevich wasn’t mad about his chief of staff John Harris’ 10-day sentence.

Though he apologized for his acts during his December sentencing, Blagojevich on Sunday said neither he nor Harris did anything wrong, according to Adam.

Blagojevich’s mini-celebrity status hasn’t worn out in prison. “He is the mayor,” Adam said. “He knows everybody’s name. He’s politicking there.”

Blagojevich was convicted last June on 17 of 20 counts of corruption, including attempting to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat. U.S. District Judge James Zagel sentenced him to 14 years in prison, handing down one of the lengthiest prison sentences for a public corruption case in Illinois history.

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