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Ryan adjusting to private life

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(AP)
In thIs July 2013 file photo, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan smiles outside his home in Kankakee, after he was released from home confinement, ending more ending more than 5 1/2 years in federal custody for wide-ranging corruption offenses. On Thursday, Aug. 22, Ryan said he's still adjusting to private life in the weeks since his release from home confinement. Ryan was sentenced in 2007 to 6 1/2 years in prison, but his sentence was reduced for good behavior.

SPRINGFIELD (AP) – Former Gov. George Ryan said Thursday that he took advantage of his newfound freedom last weekend by going to Springfield to celebrate the birthday of his triplet daughters.

Ryan, who spent 5½ years in federal prison on a 2006 corruption conviction, finished a 6-month stint of home confinement on July 3 and is charting out the next chapter of his life.

“I’m trying to get back to private life,” Ryan told The Associated Press by phone from his home in Kankakee.

Former staffer and longtime friend Tony Leone said Ryan had dinner with family members on Friday and Saturday, and stayed at Leone’s Pasfield House Inn. The second family dinner also was attended by a handful of former staffers, Leone said.

Ryan and his children and grandchildren also visited the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Saturday. Ryan and his late wife, Lura Lynn, were instrumental in building the library, which opened in 2005.

Lura Lynn, who was Ryan’s high school sweetheart, died in 2011 while he was in prison. Ryan mused about her frequently throughout the weekend, but he was generally in great spirits, Leone said.

“He was really light, back to his old self. He was surrounded by family,” Leone said.

He said Ryan is working on a memoir.

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