Judge rules that Rod Blagojevich can use his campaign funds to pay his legal bills

A federal judge has ruled that deposed Gov.

Rod Blagojevich may use his campaign fund to pay his legal bills.

Blagojevich appeared for a status hearing Thursday before U.S. District Judge James Zagel.

He approved the release of almost $20,000 Thursday in what amounts to a housekeeping measure as the Friends of Blagojevich campaign fund is converted into a source of legal defense money for the ousted governor.

A federal judge gave the go-ahead Thursday for almost $19,700 to be paid out of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign fund to creditors. Prosecutors backed the release of the money. The Friends of Blagojevich fund has been frozen by court order since the ex-governor was indicted in April on corruption charges. The payments are for legal, real estate, accounting and other professional services.