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Sneed: For Patti Blagojevich, ‘this year is especially heartbreaking’

Patti Blagojevich attended an hour-long oral argument hearing Dec. 13 2013 7th U.S. Circuit Court Appeals Chicago while lawyers argued

Patti Blagojevich attended an hour-long oral argument hearing on Dec. 13, 2013, at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago while lawyers argued for and against overturning corruption convictions of her husband, disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving a 14-year sentence behind bars in Englewood, Colo. | Ashlee Rezin/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 5, 2014 8:56AM



The good wife . . .

About two weeks ago, Patti Blagojevich marked an anniversary without a celebration; the completion of her husband’s second year in a federal prison outside of Denver.

Since former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s incarceration on corruption charges in 2012, his wife has done everything she can to keep her family together by packing up their two daughters and heading to Colorado every few months.

“But this year is especially heartbreaking,” according to a family friend.

“He will miss the high school graduation of his eldest daughter, Amy, who graduates May 24 from Loyola Academy,” the source said. “It’s a real family benchmark. It may sound trite, but he also missed Amy passing her driver’s test.”

“The family is doing fine,” said Blagojevich’s longtime friend and attorney Sheldon Sorosky. “But, what can you say, they miss him terribly and do everything they can to visit him every few months.”

Sources tell Sneed, Patti, who talks to her husband via phone daily, is hopeful his stiff 14-year prison sentence will be overturned on appeal.

“It’s hard knowing he may have 12 more years to serve and that Amy could be 30 when he gets out of prison; that he may not be able to attend the marriages of Amy and Annie; that he may miss the birth of a grandchild,” another family source added.

Sneed is told Patti is not only working hard to keep the family close and intact, despite the distance imposed by geography — but “working her heart out on her real estate business to help support the family financially.”

Former Ald. Dick Mell, Patti’s father, still continues to be the family’s prime financial mainstay.

“Patti is one tough gal and will do anything to keep their family together,” said a political source who asked not to be identified. “Rod is a very loving husband and father; there are a lot of people who feel his 14-year prison sentence was way too harsh; and Patti is buoyed by hope his federal appeal works.”

Last year, Patti posted a message to the former governor’s supporters on her Facebook page on the first anniversary of her husband’s incarceration.

“A year ago today, Rod left for Denver. I cannot call it the one year anniversary as the word anniversary implies celebration and all that we have been left with is a aching hole in our lives,” she wrote.

However, Patti’s last public Facebook post was Feb. 18, when she noted she had signed a petition on Change.org to make synchronized ice-skating a recognized Olympic sport.

◆ Endshot? Barring a successful appeal, the earliest Blagojevich can be released from prison is early 2024, when he’ll be 67 years old.

Obamarama . . .

The signature set: Left behind at the Chicago Cut Steakhouse Wednesday night — following a big bucks DNC fund-raiser — was a menu signed by President Barack Obama, whose John Hancock looks like five compacted letters: Brofa. Check it out. (It was prefaced by: “Thanks for the great food!”)

Begorrah . . .

. . . and mon dieu! It’s pretty startling.

◆ To wit: Not only has President Obama failed to appoint an ambassador to Ireland since Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney left the post on Dec. 14, 2012 − Sneed is also told he has yet to appoint a new ambassador to France since Charles Rivkin left last November after being nominated to be assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

Film flam . . .

Yikes! The New York tabloid press claims Prince Albert of Monaco will not attend the Cannes Film Festival world premiere of “Grace of Monaco,” a film starring actress Nicole Kidman as the late American actress Grace Kelly — Prince Albert’s mother.

◆ Hmmmm: Although the problem is described as a clash with the filmmakers over the portrayal of Kelly’s late husband, Prince Rainier, Sneed bets it’s a great way to get publicity for the film.

Sneedlings . . .

Friday’s birthdays: Maya Angelou, 86; Robert Downey Jr., 49; Phil Stefani, ageless and priceless . . . and happy 50th wedding anniversary to Bob and Mary Omiecinski.



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