George Ryan's (search) former right-hand man says the former Illinois (search) governor handed out low-digit license plates as a reward for big campaign donors while he was secretary of state.

But Scott Fawell (search) testified at Ryan's trial he wasn't aware of anyone giving the former governor money in exchange for favors.

Ryan, who got national attention for challenging the death penalty, is accused of steering contracts to friends and insiders in return for free vacations and other gifts while he was secretary of state.

The case stems from a federal investigation that began with allegations of bribes paid for drivers licenses. It later expanded into a full-scale investigation of political corruption.