updated 12/12/2008 8:25:17 PM ET 2008-12-13T01:25:17

Convicted former Ill. Gov. George Ryan says he's sorry for crimes he committed as the state's chief executive.

In a statement read Friday by his attorney, former Gov. James Thompson, Ryan says his "performance in office was less than my best and for that I am sorry."

Ryan is seeking commutation from President Bush after serving more than a year of his 6 1/2-year corruption sentence.

Among other things, Ryan was convicted of stifling an investigation into bribes paid for truck drivers' licenses.

In November 1994, a part fell off a truck belonging to a driver with an illegal Illinois license. The part hit the gas tank of a van that exploded, killing a pastor's six children.

Ryan mentioned the Rev. Scott Willis' family publicly for the first time Friday.

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