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Stories by Matt Masterson

Kim Foxx Plans to Expunge Misdemeanor Marijuana Convictions

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Dec. 20, 2018.

In announcing the plan, the Cook County state’s attorney said her office must avoid “needlessly bringing people into the criminal justice system” and instead focus on prosecuting violent crime cases.

Attorney General, Special Prosecutors Reviewing Van Dyke Sentence

Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke enters the courtroom for his sentencing hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Last week, a Cook County judge handed down an 81-month prison sentence to former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke. But was a different sentence required? The state attorney general’s office says it’s now taking a look at that decision to see if it fits with state sentencing requirements. 

CPS Watchdog: 33 Adults Pulled from Schools Over Sex Abuse Allegations

Nearly three dozen Chicago Public Schools staffers, including 12 teachers, have been removed from schools due to sexual abuse allegations in recent months, according to the district’s watchdog.

Evanston School District Reaches Settlement With Students Who Alleged Sex Abuse

Evanston Township High School

Evanston Township High School district officials have reached an agreement with four former students who claimed they were sexually abused decades ago by a former drama teacher.

Jason Van Dyke Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison

Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke and his attorney Daniel Herbert, right, listen as the judge describes how he’ll be sentenced on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan sentences the former Chicago cop to 81 months in prison – just under seven years – for the 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald. He will likely only have to serve about half of that sentence.

Jason Van Dyke to be Sentenced Friday in Laquan McDonald Killing

Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke attends a post-conviction hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on  Dec. 14, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

In October, he became the first Chicago cop in decades to be convicted of murder for an on-duty shooting. Now, the former police officer will learn his sentence for the 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald.

Chicago Cops Found Not Guilty in Laquan McDonald Cover-Up Trial

Background: Ex-Officer Joseph Walsh, second from left, former Detective David March, center, and Chicago police Officer Thomas Gaffney arrive in court on the first day of trial on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. Foreground: Special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes, right, and special prosecutor Ron Safer, left. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

A Cook County judge says a trio of current and former Chicago police officers did not conspire to hide details of the Laquan McDonald shooting in an unprecedented trial that put a spotlight on the police department’s so-called code of silence.

Verdict Due in Laquan McDonald Cover-Up Trial Thursday

From left: Former Chicago Detective David March, officer Thomas Gaffney and former officer Joseph Walsh attend a pretrial hearing Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Were three Chicago cops following procedure after an officer-involved shooting? Or did they engage in a cover-up to try and protect their fellow officer? That’s what a Cook County judge will decide this week.

CTU Kicks Off Contract Bargaining With List of Demands for Mayor

CTU President Jesse Sharkey outlines his union's contract demands in a press conference Tuesday inside City Hall. (Chicago Tonight)

More than two years removed from a midnight deal to avert what would have been the second strike in four years, members of the Chicago Teachers Union are heading back to the bargaining table.

Special Prosecutors: Jason Van Dyke Should Spend 18 Years or More in Prison

Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens in during his hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / pool)

The former Chicago police officer will be sentenced Friday. He was convicted last fall of second-degree murder in the fatal 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald.

Evanston High School Staffer Accused of ‘Inappropriate Contact’ With Students

Evanston Township High School

Evanston police are investigating a local high school employee following allegations of “inappropriate contact” with at least two students.

Federal Courts May Soon Feel Impact of Government Shutdown

Chief judge ‘deeply concerned’ shutdown may affect ability to ‘ensure timely justice’

Dirksen United States Courthouse (Ken Lund / Flickr)

If the partial government shutdown lasts through next week, federal courts in Chicago and across the country may have to delay pay and limit operations.

Indiana Man Faces Murder Charge in Mechanic’s Death

Keith Watley (Chicago Police Department)

Keith Watley, 29, is accused of intentionally running over and killing a mechanic he knew on the South Side.

Kim Foxx Calls on R. Kelly Abuse Victims to Come Forward

State’s attorney says she was “sickened” by allegations made against singer

In this June 30, 2013 file photo, R. Kelly performs at the BET Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frank Micelotta / Invision / AP, File)

The Cook County state’s attorney said she was “sickened” by recent allegations of sexual and physical abuse made against R&B star R. Kelly in a new televised docuseries.

Chicago Police Adding 200 Plate Reader Vehicles to Help Combat Carjackings

Police officials say the license plate readers allow officers to quickly identify stolen vehicles. (Chicago Police Department)

Carjacking totals dropped across Chicago in 2018 following a yearslong spike, and city leaders hope the deployment of a technological tool will help draw those totals down further.

COPA Employee Facing Felony Charges After False Shooting Threat

Alison Yohanna (Chicago Police Department)

Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigator Alison Yohanna is facing felony charges after she allegedly emailed a false report of a mass shooting at her office late last month.

Lane Tech Staffer Removed After Allegation of ‘Inappropriate Behavior’

Lane Tech High School (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

A staff member at Chicago’s largest public high school has been removed following an allegation of inappropriate behavior involving a student. “We are taking this situation seriously,” the school’s principal wrote Friday in an email to parents.

Firearms Found in Ald. Ed Burke’s Office: Who Can Carry Guns in City Hall?

Among the extraordinary details that came to light after Ald. Ed Burke was charged Thursday with attempted extortion was the fact that nearly two dozen firearms were found in his offices during a series of November raids.

Verdict Delayed for Second Time in Laquan McDonald Conspiracy Trial

Background: Ex-Officer Joseph Walsh, second from left, former Detective David March, center, and Chicago police Officer Thomas Gaffney arrive in court on the first day of trial on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. Foreground: Special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes, right, and special prosecutor Ron Safer, left. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

A Cook County judge has already delayed her finding once in the unprecedented trial of three Chicago police officers. The new verdict date is Jan. 17 – a day before the sentencing of former Officer Jason Van Dyke.

COPA Employee Accused of Sending Workplace Email Threat

(Chicago Tonight)

Chicago police descended on COPA’s office last Friday following a report of an emailed threat. But COPA officials now say that threat was “false” and the sender has been identified as an agency employee.

CPS Watchdog: Former Music Director Mismanaged $13K in Funds

The school district’s inspector general found the music director “willfully violated” CPS fundraising guidelines. That’s just one of the investigations highlighted in the watchdog’s just-released annual report.

CPS Space Utilization Data Shows More Underutilized Schools

Nearly 250 Chicago schools have been labelled “underutilized,” according to district data. That total exceeds the number of schools CPS says are running efficiently.

CPS: Ousted Ogden Principal Exposed Private Student Info in New Data Breach

William B. Ogden Elementary School

The school district says identification numbers, grades, standardized test scores and the email addresses of numerous Ogden Elementary students were exposed in the latest CPS data breach.

Transgender Prisoner Moved to Illinois Women’s Prison After Alleged Abuse

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

Strawberry Hampton, a 27-year-old transgender woman, said she was constantly harassed and abused by prisoners and corrections officers alike inside various all-male prisons.

Police: Robberies Down Citywide Nearly 20 Percent in 2018

(Chicago Tonight)

Nearly a dozen Chicago police districts this year saw their lowest number of recorded robberies since 2000 as the citywide robbery rate fell by 19 percent year-over-year.

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