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Vote early, Obama tells Quinn supporters

Vote early, Obama tells Quinn supporters

CHICAGO | President Barack Obama returned to his hometown Sunday in a bid to whip up support for Gov. Pat Quinn as Democrats fight to hold control of the Illinois governor's office against stiff challenge from GOP businessman Bruce Rauner.

October 19, 2014 10:09 pm Photos


Chicago DEA chief heading to DC

CHICAGO | The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Chicago division, who has drawn attention to the growing influence of Mexican cartels in the American heartland, is leaving to take one of the agency's top posts in Washington, D.C., a DEA official said Tuesday.

September 16, 2014 3:22 pm
Athlete asks judge to reject NCAA head-injury deal

Athlete asks judge to reject NCAA head-injury deal

CHICAGO | A former San Diego State football player has asked a federal judge to reject the recently proposed $75 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA, saying it unfairly forces athletes who suffered head injuries to forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars in potentia…

August 24, 2014 8:30 pm

Illinois lawmaker pleads guilty in federal court to one misdemeanor tax count

CHICAGO | An Illinois lawmaker who faced nearly 20 federal bank-fraud charges that could have landed him in prison for decades pleaded guilty Monday to a single misdemeanor tax count for shortchanging the Internal Revenue Service of $3,700.

August 04, 2014 9:00 pm

Blagojevich files new argument in appeal

CHICAGO | Lawyers for imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich submitted an additional argument Wednesday to the federal court that's considering his appeal, saying a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision bolsters their contention that the Illinois Democrat never crossed the line from legal polit…

July 16, 2014 4:38 pm

Quinn's lawyer admits inspector probe

CHICAGO | An attorney representing Gov. Pat Quinn's administration publicly acknowledged Tuesday an ongoing investigation by Illinois' inspector general of hiring practices under the one-term Democrat.

April 29, 2014 3:51 pm
Northwestern players to cast historic union vote today

Northwestern players to cast historic union vote today

EVANSTON, Ill. | Northwestern University's football players will cast ballots today on whether to form the nation's first union for college athletes – a potentially landmark vote that will be kept sealed for months and possibly years.

April 24, 2014 5:53 pm

4-year fraud sentence for ex-Cook County official

CHICAGO | A federal judge sentenced a former Cook County official Friday to four years in prison for steering no-bid contracts for public awareness programs to acquaintances and then reaping nearly $35,000 in kickbacks.

March 21, 2014 8:06 pm

Man charged in $7 million shoplifting case jailed

CHICAGO | The head of a suburban Chicago family accused of stealing $7 million in goods in a decadelong, multistate shoplifting spree will stay in jail because he is a flight risk, a federal judge ruled Monday.

March 11, 2014 12:00 am

Board considers if college players are employees

CHICAGO | A federal agency kicked off the first in a series of hearings Wednesday on whether to approve a bid by Northwestern University football players to unionize, and both sides acknowledged the key question was whether college athletes can be considered employees.

February 12, 2014 7:34 pm
College athletes announce plans to unionize

College athletes announce plans to unionize

CHICAGO | Calling the NCAA a dictatorship, Northwestern's quarterback and the United Steelworkers announced plans Tuesday to form the first labor union for college athletes — the latest salvo in the bruising fight over whether amateur players should be paid.

January 28, 2014 5:56 pm

New lawsuit filed in Chicago priest sex abuse case

CHICAGO | A new lawsuit filed Thursday alleging sexual abuse of children in the 1960s and ’70s focuses on a now-defrocked priest referred to at length in documents released this week by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.

January 23, 2014 7:03 pm

Prosecutor: Office challenged by lack of money

CHICAGO | The new U.S. attorney for northern Illinois said Thursday that congressional budget constraints and a corresponding hiring freeze could one day force his office to choose to scale back some prosecutions.

January 09, 2014 8:00 pm

Blago hearing focuses on what's legal politics

CHICAGO | Judges considering an appeal by imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich spent much of oral arguments Friday focusing on one question: At what point does run-of-the-mill political horse-trading veer into corruption?

December 13, 2013 8:27 pm
Prosecutors won't retry Illinois man in '82 rape

Prosecutors won't retry Illinois man in '82 rape

CHICAGO | Prosecutors told a judge Thursday that they won't retry an Illinois man who was set free this week after spending three decades behind bars for a rape he says he didn't commit.

December 12, 2013 7:50 pm
FBI to look for ways to stem Chicago violence

FBI to look for ways to stem Chicago violence

CHICAGO | The new head of Chicago's FBI office said Monday he'll look for ways his agents can do more to help stem homicide rates and other violent crimes in the nation's third-largest city, though he added it's not yet clear what more the FBI can do that it's not already doing.

December 02, 2013 2:32 pm
Prosecutor: Mayor wrong on gun-law enforcement

Prosecutor: Mayor wrong on gun-law enforcement

CHICAGO | The new U.S. prosecutor for northern Illinois said Wednesday that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was wrong to say prosecutors haven't done enough to crack down on guns that contribute to deadly violence in the nation's third largest city.

November 20, 2013 8:45 pm

Prosecutors respond to Blagojevich appeal

CHICAGO | Prosecutors have responded to Rod Blagojevich's appeal of his corruption conviction, challenging the notion that the behavior that landed the disgraced former Illinois governor behind bars was run-of-the-mill political horse-trading.

November 13, 2013 10:12 pm

After 'snafu,' Jackson reports to federal prison

CHICAGO | Former Illinois U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. entered a North Carolina prison Tuesday to begin serving a 2 1/2-year term for illegally spending $750,000 in campaign money on everything from cigars to a gold watch — a day after he tried but failed to get into the federal complex.

October 29, 2013 6:45 pm
Jackson to sell home to pay $750,000 judgment

Jackson to sell home to pay $750,000 judgment

CHICAGO | Prison-bound former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. plans to sell his home in Washington, D.C., to help pay a $750,000 forfeiture judgment — part of his sentence for illegally dipping into his campaign coffers and spending the money on rock 'n' roll memorabilia, furs capes, vacations…

October 25, 2013 3:57 pm

Jackson, Blagojevich figure pleads guilty

CHICAGO | A one-time contributor to former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who was also a figure in scandals related to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, has pleaded guilty in a medical fraud case.

September 20, 2013 5:45 pm

State's high court begins stint in Chicago

CHICAGO | As their home building undergoes renovation, Illinois Supreme Court justices convened in Chicago Tuesday and began their first term away from Springfield in more than 100 years.

September 10, 2013 3:21 pm
Jackson Jr. faces sentencing

Jackson Jr. faces sentencing

CHICAGO | The genesis of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s decline dates to when he chose to forgo divinity studies and enter the world of politics instead, or so says the ex-congressman's sister. Other supporters suggest it was when he opted for weight-loss surgery. Still others single out his diagnosed …

August 13, 2013 5:02 pm

Feds: Ex-state worker took $433,000 in kickbacks

CHICAGO | A onetime chief of staff to the former head of the Illinois Department of Public Health is accused of accepting $433,000 in kickbacks for steering about $13 million grant and contract money to purported philanthropic groups, according to an indictment released by prosecutors Thursday.

August 08, 2013 12:52 pm

Federal judge: Racial profiling possible in stings

CHICAGO | The chief judge of U.S. District Court in Chicago has questioned whether the federal government in a drug case racially profiled African-Americans and Latinos — raising a sensitive issue that has arisen in various forms nationwide for years.

August 01, 2013 7:45 pm
Forfeiture motion names ex-Rep. Jackson's homes

Forfeiture motion names ex-Rep. Jackson's homes

CHICAGO | Government prosecutors on Friday filed a forfeiture motion naming the homes of former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandi, in a move legal observers said could result in them losing one or both homes.

June 28, 2013 8:30 pm

Filing: Government doesn't want challenge to surveillance

CHICAGO | Lawyers for a U.S. citizen charged with terrorism in Chicago said in a Friday filing that the government is dodging questions about whether it used expanded secret surveillance programs against their client to ensure the hotly debated practices can't be challenged in the Supreme Court.

June 21, 2013 7:51 pm
Chicago's next US attorney faces urgent dilemma

Chicago's next US attorney faces urgent dilemma

CHICAGO | Chicago's next U.S. attorney faces a dilemma sprung from the twin evils bedeviling America's third-largest city.

June 17, 2013 10:45 pm Photos


Feds: Traditional probe used in Illinois terror case

CHICAGO | Prosecutors haven't denied that an expanded U.S. phone and Internet surveillance program triggered an investigation that led to terrorism charges against a Chicago-area teenager, a defense attorney said Thursday.

June 13, 2013 9:11 pm

New federal prosecutor nominated for Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) — The Obama administration has chosen a private attorney and former federal prosecutor who helped send former Illinois Gov. George Ryan to prison for corruption to head the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago, Illinois' senators announced Thursday.

May 23, 2013 9:53 pm
Prosecutors: Official lied about tainted water

Prosecutors: Official lied about tainted water

CHICAGO | A prosecutor told jurors before they began deliberations Friday that a one-time suburban Chicago water official lied about drawing village water from a well tainted with a cancer-causing chemical, while her attorney declared her a scapegoat of an inner circle of powerful men.

April 26, 2013 7:15 pm

Court upholds conviction of ex-police commander

CHICAGO | A federal appellate court on Monday upheld the 2010 conviction of a former Chicago police commander — whose name became synonymous in the city with out-of-control police — for lying about the torture of suspects.

April 01, 2013 3:20 pm
Beavers convicted of tax charges

Beavers convicted of tax charges

CHICAGO | An influential Chicago Democrat who famously compared himself to a virile hog was convicted Thursday after less than two hours of jury deliberations on charges of tax evasion for not declaring campaign cash he gambled away on slot machines as income.

March 21, 2013 8:31 pm
After vowing he would testify, Beavers doesn't

After vowing he would testify, Beavers doesn't

CHICAGO | Despite vowing for months that he would speak directly to jurors, an influential Cook County commissioner told a federal judge on Wednesday he would not be taking the stand at his tax-evasion trial.

March 20, 2013 8:00 pm Photos


Casino: Beavers lost $500,000 on slot machines

CHICAGO | A powerful Chicago politician who earns just a five-figure salary gambled away nearly $500,000 playing slot machines over three years at a single casino, according to records entered into evidence by prosecutors Friday at the Democrat's tax-evasion trial.

March 16, 2013 12:00 am

Jury seated in Beavers tax trial

CHICAGO | A judge on Wednesday imposed a gag order on attorneys in the tax-evasion trial of a powerful Chicago Democrat after a defense lawyer claimed jury selection was "rigged" because no black men were in the 50-person pool from which jurors were selected.

March 13, 2013 8:30 pm

No black men in Beavers jury pool; defense objects

CHICAGO | Race became an issue Tuesday at the tax-evasion trial of an influential Cook County commissioner after the defense complained there were no black men in an initial jury pool and asked for it to be dismissed.

March 12, 2013 7:47 pm

Attorney likens ex-Peterson lawyer to dictator

JOLIET | A former lead attorney for Drew Peterson managed the one-time police officer's murder trial like a "dictatorship," a current Peterson lawyer said Wednesday as he sought to persuade a judge to grant a new trial.

February 20, 2013 9:20 pm

Suit: Answering calls, scanning emails deserves OT

CHICAGO | Does scanning emails and answering calls from bosses on your smartphone after hours constitute work that should be compensated? A lawsuit winding its way through federal court in Chicago says that it does.

February 06, 2013 7:37 pm

New headquarters to fight drug traffickers

CHICAGO | A first-of-its-kind headquarters has opened in Chicago for 70 federal agents, police and prosecutors to work side by side, year-round to fight drug traffickers — a set-up meant to end inter-agency rivalry and miscommunication that can hamper investigations.

February 02, 2013 6:23 pm
Chicago's next prosecutor to be more of an insider

Chicago's next prosecutor to be more of an insider

CHICAGO | The lanky, soft-spoken lawman from New York arrived in Chicago with a mandate to clean up corruption-plagued Illinois. And after a decade on the job, Patrick Fitzgerald had helped put two successive governors and a long procession of other public officials behind bars.

January 02, 2013 7:45 pm

Chicago's top cop: 'Code of silence' not tolerated

CHICAGO | Just before the beating of a female bartender by an off-duty Chicago police officer persuaded him to end his own career, then-police Superintendent Phil Cline said the officer caught on videotape had "tarnished our image worse than anybody else in the history of the department."

November 14, 2012 8:03 pm

Abbate: Never asked fellow officers for favors

CHICAGO | A former Chicago police officer convicted for a 2007 beating of a female bartender says he never asked fellow officers to help make sure the episode would be hushed up.

October 24, 2012 12:00 am

Chicago police culture on trial in beating case

CHICAGO | Allegations of a culture in which Chicago police jump to protect fellow officers accused of wrongdoing are at the heart of a federal civil trial beginning Monday that pits the victim of a barroom beating by an off-duty officer against the city.

October 23, 2012 12:00 am

Nonprofit PTA sues for-proft rival

CHICAGO | The nonprofit PTA sued a for-profit rival Wednesday, accusing it of denigrating the established group in a bid to siphon off members.

September 27, 2012 12:00 am
Chicago teachers to again consider ending strike

Chicago teachers to again consider ending strike

CHICAGO | An angry Mayor Rahm Emanuel's appeal to the courts to end a six-day teachers strike in the nation's third largest city set off a new round of recriminations Monday, but did little to end a walkout that has left parents scrambling and kept 350,000 students out of class.

September 17, 2012 6:15 pm Related

Hearsay bothers last juror to find Peterson guilty

JOLIET, Ill. | The final juror to agree to convict Drew Peterson of murder in the death of his ex-wife says he "barely slept" one night during the proceedings because the same nagging questions kept popping into his head.

September 08, 2012 4:45 pm

Peterson jurors matched clothes out of boredom

JOLIET, Ill. | Among the many questions that arose during Drew Peterson's murder trial, one of the least weighty but most perplexing was — what on Earth were jurors trying to say by meticulously coordinating their clothes each day?

September 07, 2012 6:45 pm
Peterson witness: 3rd wife died accidentally

Peterson witness: 3rd wife died accidentally

JOLIET, Ill. | Forensic pathologists testified for the defense Tuesday that they believe Drew Peterson's third wife died of an accidental fall in her bathtub, countering earlier testimony from state witnesses that her 2004 death was murder.

August 28, 2012 7:15 pm Photos


Witness: Peterson offered $25K to kill 3rd wife

JOLIET, Ill. | A witness testified at Drew Peterson's murder trial Wednesday that the former Illinois police officer offered him $25,000 to hire a hit man to kill his third wife just three months before she was found dead.

August 22, 2012 4:24 pm
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