Stories by Paris Schutz

Report Outlines Culture of Fear, Harassment on Speaker Madigan’s Watch

In this July 26, 2017 file photo, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan speaks at a news conference at the state capitol in Springfield, Illinois. (Justin Fowler / The State Journal-Register via AP, File)

A long-awaited report on sexual harassment in the Illinois House outlines a culture of fear, intimidation and bullying under House Speaker Michael Madigan’s former chief of staff Tim Mapes.

Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown Won’t Seek Re-Election

Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown speaks with WTTW News on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. (WTTW News)

Long the subject of federal scrutiny, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown explains why she will not seek re-election.

Chicago Casino Study: Taxes Too High to Be Profitable

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

An onerous tax structure would virtually kill any chance that a Chicago casino operator could make a profit, despite an ability to make massive amounts of money, according to a newly released feasibility study.

Chicago Casino Study to Be Released Tuesday

Where to put a Chicago casino? A $120,000 feasibility study may offer some insight on five potential sites proposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Racial Tensions Boiling Over in City Water Department

Katherine Ealy (WTTW News)

Two years after a scathing report unveiled a rampant problem at the Department of Water Management, more employees are speaking out about what they call a toxic culture at the city agency. 

Feds Indict Illinois Sen. Tom Cullerton

(Illinois Senator Tom Cullerton / Facebook)

State Sen. Tom Cullerton is alleged to have fraudulently received labor and benefits from a labor union in which, according to the indictment, he did “little or no work.”

In Chicago, TIF Revenues Soaring

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

The city of Chicago could be in line for a giant windfall of tax revenue, just in time to face down a $700 million budget gap.

Mayor Lightfoot ‘Concerned’ About Feasibility of Chicago Casino

Mayor Lori Lightfoot appears on “Chicago Tonight” on July 25, 2019.

As part of a wide-ranging discussion on “Chicago Tonight,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she will be seeking public input on possible locations for a Chicago casino.

Lightfoot’s Ethics, Workplace Initiatives Unanimously Pass City Council

Two key initiatives of Mayor Lori Lightfoot were put to the test Wednesday, and the unanimous passage of each shows that Chicago’s new mayor has command over City Council.

Mayor, Aldermen Negotiate Fair Workweek Ordinance

(ongchinonn / Pixabay)

Should larger Chicago companies be required to let employees know of their work schedules two weeks ahead of time?

Lightfoot Rejects Chicago Port Investment Deal

A deal to have a private operator invest up to $100 million to run the Illinois International Port District, also known as the Port of Chicago, appears to be dead.

Spotlight Politics: New Investigation of Ex-Alderman with Madigan Ties

Why the federal probe into a former Chicago alderman could spell trouble for House Speaker Michael Madigan. Our politics team takes on that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

Chicago International Port Considering Massive Investment Deal

A new deal could be worth up to $100 million for the giant Port of Chicago on the city’s Southeast Side.

Despite Trump Threats, ICE Raids Fail to Materialize in Chicago

Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez, 33rd Ward, speaks to WTTW News.

There has been no sign yet of a beefed-up presence from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Chicago. Nonetheless, several immigrants’ rights groups and concerned citizens are trying to combat the fear those threats have caused.

Spotlight Politics: Murky Waters of Lead Pipe Debate

Mayor Lori Lightfoot wades into the murky waters of the lead pipe debate. Our politics team takes on that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

City Analysis: Pension Debt Grew Last Year

Brian Battle, director of Performance Trust Capital Partners, speaks about the city’s growing pension liability with WTTW News on July 8, 2019.

The city of Chicago saw a little more tax revenue than expected last year. That’s the sliver of good news in a new report that spells out the bleak long-term financial forecast.

Socialized Electricity? Alderman Floats Government Takeover of ComEd

Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th Ward, appears on “Chicago Tonight” on July 3, 2019.

The self-styled democratic socialist members of Chicago’s City Council – led by Veteran 35th Ward Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa – want the city to explore true socialist policy.

Spotlight Politics: Austin Real Estate Deal Under Scrutiny

More details emerge about the investigation into 34th Ward Ald. Carrie Austin, as a former alderman is sentenced to one year in prison. Our politics team takes on those stories and more in our weekly roundtable.

Spotlight Politics: Feds Raid Another Longtime Alderman’s Office

Outside Ald. Carrie Austin’s 34th Ward office at 111th and Halsted streets on the city’s South Side on Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (WTTW News)

Assessing the political fallout from the federal raid of another longtime alderman’s office. Our politics team tackles that and more in our weekly roundtable.

FBI Raids 34th Ward Office of Ald. Carrie Austin

A file photo shows 34th Ward Ald. Carrie Austin (WTTW News)

Federal agents have executed a search warrant at the South Side ward office of Chicago Ald. Carrie Austin. A source close to the matter says Austin has been under federal investigation for several years.

Lightfoot: Independent Commission Should Redraw City’s 50 Wards

(Stephen M. Scott / Flickr)

The decennial redrawing of Chicago’s 50 ward boundaries is messy and anything but transparent. Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls the current map an obvious case of gerrymandering, and says it’s bad for Chicago residents.

Legislative Leaders in the Dark on Gaming Bill Specifics

Recently passed legislation to expand gambling in Illinois is so massive, not many people know everything that’s in it. That includes at least two of the state’s legislative leaders who helped negotiate the bill.

Spotlight Politics: Lightfoot Proposes New Ethics Plan in Wake of Burke Plea

Ald. Ed Burke walks into the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on Jan. 3, 2019. Mayor Lori Lightfoot holds a press conference May 31, 2019 at City Hall to address the federal indictment filed against Burke and demand he resign immediately. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is out with a new round of ethics proposals. Our politics team tackles that and more in our weekly roundtable.

Ald. Ed Burke Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Corruption Charges

In this courtroom sketch, Ald. Ed Burke, left, appears before U.S. Federal Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole with his attorneys on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (Credit: Tom Gianni)

Ald. Ed Burke pleads not guilty to 14 counts of racketeering, attempted bribery and extortion. A look at how he amassed, and used, his power over the years.

Ald. Ed Burke Indicted on 14 Counts of Racketeering, Extortion, Attempted Bribery

Ald. Ed Burke speaks to “Chicago Tonight” and other media after returning to his home on the Southwest Side on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Earlier in the day, federal agents conducted a raid on his offices. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune via AP)

The U.S. attorney’s office returns a sweeping indictment against longtime 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke. Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls the allegations “alarming” and says Burke “must resign immediately.”