Peoria: John Kelly Running For Reelection In Peoria

By The Chicago Times Staff

November 28, 2022

PEORIA, IL —  A Peoria Council member has announced plans for reelection.  John Kelly announced his campaign to run for a second term as an at-large council member.  Kelly promoted the passage of a real estate tax abatement on new residential construction, incentivizing rehabs of rental properties, funding of street repair and building maintenance.  The election will be held in spring 2023.

Michael ‘Apples’ Madigan Pleads Not Guilty

By Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times

November 2, 2022

CHICAGO – Disgraced former Democrat Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan pleaded not guilty to added charges in his ongoing racketeering conspiracy case.

The former speaker was not required to participate in his arraignment on Tuesday which added an indictment on a conspiracy charge involving AT&T Illinois.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole granted Madigan permission to evade the arraignment after Madigan signed a waiver pleading not guilty on all charges.

Madigan’s codefendant, Michael McClain, was also allowed to skip the arraignment after signing a waiver pleading not guilty to all charges.

Madigan’s indictment earlier this year alleged that he and McClain sought jobs, contracts, and cash bribes for known associates from ComEd between 2011 and 2019.  Madigan is also accused of using his official office, as the elected Democrat Illinois House Speaker, to grease the wheels to help ComEd pass favorable legislation.  The federal government charged ComEd separately in 2020, after which ComEd cut a deal in which they agreed to pay a $200 million fine.

Madigan’s superseding indictment filed October 12, alleges that Madigan and McClain schemed with former AT&T Illinois President Paul La Schiazza to pay $22,500 to former state Democrat Rep. Edward Acevedo with the goal of influencing pending legislation in Springfield.   La Schiazza faces a five-count conspiracy indictment and has pleaded not guilty.

Michael Madigan could not be reached for a statement.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site Offers Free Trick-Or-Treat Event

By The Chicago Times Staff

October 6, 2022

SPRINGFIELD – The Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield has announced a free trick-or-treat event.

According to a press release, the free event will be held on October 29 between 5-7 pm at the Visitor Center located at 426 South 7th St. in downtown Springfield.  In the “Spirit of Lincoln” there will be games from the 1860s, impersonators dressed for the era of Lincoln, and a kids costume contest.  The contest begins at 6 pm and requires registration at the Visitor Center. 

The event will also sponsor a food drive for families in need.  Food can be donated at the Visitor Center.

Sangamon County: Man Indicted On 8 Counts Of First Degree Murder

By David Slavik, The Chicago Times

September 29, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL – A man suspected of committing a double homicide in Sangamon County was indicted Wednesday on eight counts of first-degree murder.

A Sangamon County Grand Jury indicted 23-year-old Mark N. Crites on 13 counts, including 8 counts of first-degree murder.  The charges stem from the shooting deaths of Gloria and John Norgaard and a separate arson investigation.  Charges include aggravated arson, residential arson, theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, and aggravated possession of stolen firearm.

Crites’ bond has been set at $5 million and faces life in prison if convicted.

Illinois Supreme Court: Chief Justice Anne M. Burke Announces Retirement

By Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times

September 13, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL – It was announced Monday that Chief Justice Anne M. Burke will retire from the Illinois Supreme Court.

Burke has served on the bench since 2006 and will step down on November 30, 2022.

“The decision to retire was not an easy one. However, after having been blessed to serve as a Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court for the past sixteen years, and as Chief Justice for the past three years, the race has been run and it is time to pass the gavel to a successor,” said Chief Justice Burke in a statement.

The announcement comes one year before her husband, Chicago Alderman Edward M. Burke, 14th Ward, is set to stand trial on federal racketeering charges.

It was also announced that First District Appellate Justice Joy V. Cunningham will fill the vacated seat as of December 1, 2022.

Photo: Illinois Supreme Court

Disgraced Former Illinois House Speaker Madigan Granted Extension In Up Coming Trial 

By Gary Parker, The Chicago Times

August 3, 2022

CHICAGO – Disgraced former Democrat Illinois House Speaker Michael “Apples” Madigan and co-defendant Michael McClain were granted an extension in their racketeering trail until next year to allow defense attorneys to review evidence disclosed by prosecutors.

US District Judge Robert Blakey set a February 1 deadline for the filing of pretrial motions in an attempt to limit the number of times Madigan’s defense team would need to ask for extensions.  A status hearing is set for January 9.

In March, Madigan, 79, was charged along with McClain, 74, in a 22-count indictment in which they allegedly conspired in an array of bribery and extortion schemes from 2011-2019.  The most notable scheme involved an alleged scam to divert payments from ComEd to a member of Madigan’s political cronies for influence.  Madigan and McClain have pleaded not guilty.