Stories by Matt Masterson

Ex-Judge: Kim Foxx Shouldn’t Use Tax Dollars for Outside Counsel

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 17, 2019. (WTTW News)

Sheila O’Brien, who successfully petitioned for a special prosecutor to take over the Jussie Smollett investigation, is now seeking to bar the Cook County state’s attorney from using taxpayer dollars to pay for her own outside counsel.

Chicago Man Charged in Dual Carjackings of Porsche, SUV

Caleb Morales (Chicago Police Department)

A Chicago man from the South Side is facing felony criminal charges after he allegedly carjacked a Porsche and another vehicle that had two children in it on the Near North Side.

Date Set for Trial of Man Accused in Murder of CPD Cmdr. Paul Bauer

Jury selection in the trial of 46-year-old Shomari Legghette will begin Feb. 27, just over two years since Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer was fatally shot in a downtown stairwell.

Lawsuit: Convicted CPD Officers Used ‘Bogus’ Warrants to Raid Woman’s Home

(WTTW News)

Micaela Cruz says multiple Chicago police officers fabricated evidence in order to unlawfully search her home and arrest her for drug violations that were later dismissed.

Charlie Beck: Chicago Police Will Become ‘Model for Effectiveness’

Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck addresses the media following his remarks at the City Club of Chicago on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (WTTW News)

As the city continues its work to bring down the homicide rate following a 2016 spike, Chicago’s interim police superintendent believes one thing is absolutely necessary: winning back the public’s trust.

Feds Seek Resentencing of Would-Be Chicago Bar Bomber Adel Daoud

Adel Daoud, 25, appears before Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman on Monday, May 6, 2019 in Chicago. (Courtroom sketch by Thomas Gianni)

Federal prosecutors say the 16-year sentence given last year to Adel Daoud, who attempted to detonate what he thought was a bomb outside a downtown bar, is “substantively unreasonable” and failed to account for Daoud’s “commitment to violence.”

Chicago Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Sex Trafficking

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

Timothy Dorsey, 52, pleaded guilty last year to running a multistate sex trafficking ring and was implicated in the 2015 murder of one of his former prostitutes. This week, he was sentenced to a decade in prison.

Lawsuit: Doctor Fired After Blowing Whistle on Medicare Fraud, Other Violations

Dirksen United States Courthouse (Ken Lund / Flickr)

A Chicago doctor is suing her former employer, claiming she faced retaliation and was ultimately fired after blowing the whistle on alleged cost-cutting practices that she says put patients at risk.

State Legislators Search for Answers After Bombshell Isolation Room Report

Illinois state legislators, including Rep. Jonathan Carroll, heard from parents, advocates and education leaders Tuesday during a public hearing about the use of isolation and seclusion rooms across the state. (WTTW News)

Advocates and educators spoke in Chicago on Tuesday, hoping to give state leaders a better sense of what must be done to address student isolation and seclusion in Illinois schools.

CPS Watchdog Opened 450 New Sexual Misconduct Investigations in 2019

This year’s report from Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Inspector General includes data from the new Sexual Allegations Unit, which was formed in the wake of the Chicago Tribune’s bombshell “Betrayed” series.

CPS Data Shows Hundreds of Underutilized Schools

The majority of Chicago Public Schools’ district-run elementary and high schools are not being properly utilized, according to new data.

Yingying Zhang Lawsuit Against U. of I. Counselors Tossed by Judge

A memorial stone engraved with Yingying Zhang’s name in both English and Chinese on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in June 2019, two years after her disappearance. (Photo by Mark Van Moer) Inset, top: Yingying Zhang (Courtesy University of Illinois Police Department). Bottom: Brendt Christensen (Courtesy Macon County Sheriff’s Department).

The family of the murdered Chinese scholar had accused university social workers of acting with “deliberate indifference” toward warning signs shown by Brendt Christensen.

CPD to Deploy 1,300 Additional Officers on New Year’s Eve

(WTTW News)

Both local and state police will be ramping up their patrol deployments Tuesday night to maintain safety at busy New Year’s Eve events and along roads as marijuana legalization takes effect.

Ex-CPS JROTC Instructor Charged With Sexually Assaulting Student

Brian Travis (Chicago Police Department)

Brian Travis was arrested on Christmas Day at O’Hare International Airport and charged with sexually assaulting an underage female student from an Albany Park neighborhood high school.

Wisconsin Governor Finds Brendan Dassey Ineligible for Pardon

Brendan Dassey (Wisconsin Department of Corrections)

Brendan Dassey was 16 years old when he confessed to assisting his uncle, Steven Avery, with the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach. His case and subsequent appeals were made famous in the 2015 Netflix series “Making a Murderer.”

ACLU Report Finds Chicago Police Traffic Stops Jumped by 200K in 2018

(WTTW News)

Last year, 86% of the nearly 490,000 traffic stops made by Chicago police involved a driver of color, according to the ACLU of Illinois. Of those, 300,000 stops involved a black driver.

Gunman Convicted of Murdering 9-Year-Old Tyshawn Lee Sentenced to 90 Years in Prison

Another man, the “driving force” behind 2015 slaying, sentenced to 65-year prison term

Dwright Boone-Doty, left, and Corey Morgan appear during opening statements in the murder trial of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee at the Leighton Criminal Court building in Chicago on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune / pool)

Dwright Boone-Doty and Corey Morgan were convicted in October of first-degree murder for the killing of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. The two will each spend multiple decades behind bars for the slaying, which prosecutors called a “dark day” in the city of Chicago.

City Attorneys Ask Federal Judge to Toss Jussie Smollett Countersuit

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, center, arrives at Leighton Criminal Court Building for a hearing to discuss whether cameras will be allowed in the courtroom during his disorderly conduct case on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Matt Marton)

Attorneys from Chicago’s Law Department argue in a new filing Monday that the former “Empire” star’s countersuit should be thrown out, in part, because that criminal case could be reopened.

Lawsuit: ‘Deliberate Indifference’ of Board of Education Allowed Sexual Assault

Legal Prep Charter Academy (Google Earth)

The Chicago Board of Education and a West Side charter school are being sued by a female student who claims the school’s ex-basketball coach sexually assaulted her multiple times last year.

Dorothy Brown Associate Convicted of Lying Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

Dirksen United States Courthouse (Ken Lund / Flickr)

Federal prosecutors said that by lying to a grand jury, 58-year-old Beena Patel “threw a wrench in the wheels of justice and ground them to a halt.”

Teen Charged with Murder in Slaying of Nurse in Little Village

Armando Lopez (Chicago Police Department)

Armando Lopez, 19, was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the killing of registered nurse Frank Aguilar, 32, on Nov. 12. Detectives believe they’ve also identified the shooter, who is not yet in custody.

Kim Foxx Vacates 1,000 Pot Convictions as Clock Ticks Toward Legalization

Foxx: “We must now own our role in the harm these convictions have caused.”

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, left, stands beside Gov. J.B. Pritzker inside the lobby of the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

In three weeks, Illinois will become the 11th state with legalized marijuana sales. On Wednesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx as she began the process of vacating thousands of low-level cannabis convictions.

New Lawsuit Claims College Board Illegally Sold Student Data


A Chicago firm is suing the vendor behind the SAT and Advanced Placement exams in a federal class-action suit that accuses them of collecting and selling millions of students’ personal information.

DOJ Sues to Revoke Citizenship of Chicago-Area Coach Accused of Sexual Abuse

Jose Vilchis (Will County Sheriff)

The U.S. government is moving to revoke the citizenship of José Vilchis, a longtime gymnastics coach who’s been accused of sexually abusing multiple underage girls over the course of three-plus decades.

‘We Don’t Like Outsiders’: Chicago Residents Sound Off on City’s Next Top Cop

A Chicago police officer looks on during Monday’s police board listening session at the Trinity United Church of Christ. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

The Chicago Police Board held the first of three community listening sessions Monday in Washington Heights as it continues its search for a new superintendent.