Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich pauses while speaking to the media at the Dirksen Federal Building December 7, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison after he was found guilty of 17 public corruption charges.

*Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison Wednesday over 18 felony corruption convictions, among them allegations that he tried to sell President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat for cash.

“When it is the governor who goes bad the fabric of Illinois is torn and disfigured and not easily repaired,” Judge James Zagel said.

Blagojevich, who had previously maintained his innocence, apologized in court to Illinois residents, the judge in his case, and to his family, before the sentence was read. “I have nobody to blame but myself for my stupidity and actions, words, things that I did, that I thought I could do,” he said.

The 54-year-old Blagojevich — who appeared on Season 9 of “Celebrity Apprentice” and was fired on the fourth episode — was serving his second term as governor when he was removed from office in January 2009. He’s Illinois’s fourth governor to go to prison.