"He's going to go forward with his life as best he can."
The former governor of Illinois will do that outside these prison walls. George Ryan was released about 1 am, out a back exit of the Indiana federal prison. His lawyer, former governor Jim Thompson, was there to pick him up.
"He tied his own tie this morning. He hadn't forgotten to do that. He's in decent spirits. Obviously it's such a stark change from the penitentiary life that he's become accustomed again to seeing things on the outside."
This is the first image we've seen of Ryan in five years. He walked into the front door of this Chicago halfway house about 7 am. He was expected to stay there for a few weeks, but he surprised reporters when he walked out a few hours later to return to his home in Kankakee.
Ryan's lawyers apparently worked out a deal with the feds to let the former governor live out the remainder of his sentence in home confinement. The man who used to speak to the state won't be able to talk for awhile.
"He's forbidden to talk to the press until the end of his sentence in July. He cannot change that."
With Ryan's release, a new chapter for the State of Illinois. Now, only one former governor is behind bars.
A lot has happened since Ryan first went to prison in 2007. His brother and wife have both since died. The family was waiting to have a formal memorial service for Ryan's wife until he was released from prison.