Wednesday, March 06, 2019

After turning down earlier deal, Chicago alderman Willie Cochran to plead guilty

Wait, didn't I run with a story yesterday about a former Chicago alderman who plans to plea guilty to corruption charges? I did. I'm not repeating myself. This post is about a current Chicago alderman pleading guilty.

From CBS Chicago:
Four months after rejecting a plea deal that his attorney said would have resulted in minimal jail time, and opting to go to trial on fraud and bribery charges, Ald. Willie Cochran (20th) again is scheduled to plead guilty in federal court.

In November, prosecutors and defense attorneys revealed plea negotiations had broken down in Cochran’s case, and U.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso scheduled a jury trial for June 3.

On Tuesday, Alonso scheduled a change of plea hearing for March 21, signaling Cochran appears ready to accept a deal to avoid a trial. Cochran is charged with 11 counts of wire fraud, two counts of extortion, and two counts of bribery.

When Cochran rejected a plea deal in November, defense attorney Christopher Grohman said, "He couldn't stomach the idea of admitting to something he believes he did not do."
Over in the 14th Ward, Ed Burke, until recently chairman of the powerful City Council Finance Committee--and who has been an alderman since 1969--haw been charged in a federal criminal complaint.

Since 1973 over 30 members of Chicago's City Council have been sentenced to federal prison.

Related posts:

Powerful Chicago alderman in office for 50 years charged in extortion scheme

Former Chicago alderman Vrdolyak to plead guilty again

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