Rod Blagojevich's brother speaks up about life since being indicted

We're not a perfect people, but I'm not a criminal. This is just not fair. It's absolutely not fair.”

— Robert Blagojevich

It was May 2008, and Robert Blagojevich was back at his alma mater to give the commencement speech to the University of Tampa’s graduating class.

The successful Nashville businessman and longtime military officer saw it as a special moment. He was honored to have been asked back, honored to return to the school where he had fallen in love with his future wife over long talks in the library.

Rob Blagojevich's commencement address at U. of Tampa Robert Blagojevich timeline

When his speech was over, students lined up to ask if he’d mentor them in their

job searches. He gladly handed out his phone number.

Afterward, the brother of Illinois’ controversial then-governor, Rod Blagojevich, sat with his wife, Julie, along a breezy boulevard, soaking in the good feelings and the warm air.

“We thought our lives had peaked,” Robert Blagojevich recalled in an exclusive interview with the Chicago Sun-Times. “We sat there in the breeze, smoking a cigar, saying how good life was.”

Lost in the memory, he punctuated the words: “How. Good. Life. Was.’’

Bam! Bam! Bam!

The 6:20 a.m. pounding on the door rousted Rob and Julie Blagojevich from their bed.