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Ex-Illinois governor ordered to prison

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Gov. George Ryan was ordered Friday to start serving a 6 1/2-year prison sentence in less than two weeks, but his lawyers held out hope they could keep him out of prison pending a U.S. Supreme Court appeal.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer set a Nov. 7 surrender date for Ryan and co-defendant Larry Warner to report to prison.

Within hours, his attorneys asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an extension of his bond that would keep him free while they take the case to the nation's highest court.

The attorneys called Ryan a devoted grandfather with "modest means" who is not a flight risk.

Ryan has been free on bail since he was convicted in April 2006 of steering state contracts to friends, using tax dollars to run his campaigns and covering up drivers license bribery.