Stories by Paris Schutz

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

| Amanda Vinicky
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

| Nicole Cardos

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.”

Spotlight Politics: Fireworks in Chicago and Springfield

Behind the scenes at Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s first City Council meeting and the flurry of activity in Springfield. Our politics team tackles those headlines and more in our weekly roundtable.

Mayor Lightfoot Exerts Control Over Burke, City Council

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to the media following her first City Council meeting as mayor on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.

Ald. Ed Burke on Wednesday tried to throw new Mayor Lori Lightfoot a curveball and badly missed the strike zone in advance of Lightfoot’s first major legislative test. 

Lightfoot Outlines Memorial Day Weekend Safety Plan

We trail Mayor Lori Lightfoot as she outlines her safety plan for the holiday weekend and addresses the controversy over her security detail.

Spotlight Politics: Mayor Lightfoot vs. the Council Machine

Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a stern warning to City Council members in her inaugural address. Our politics team tackles that story and other headlines in our weekly roundtable.

Lightfoot Recounts Ancestor’s Tragedy in the Jim Crow South

| Dan Protess

The little-known story of Lori Lightfoot’s grandfather who was murdered in the Jim Crow South nearly 100 years ago.

Lightfoot Rewards ‘Reform’ and ‘Old Guard’ Alderman in Council Shake-Up

In this file photo, Lori Lightfoot, then a candidate for Chicago mayor, speaks to “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018.

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot releases her picks for committee chairmanships, proposing that Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) lead the Finance Committee that was led for decades by Ald. Ed Burke (14th).

Spotlight Politics: Lightfoot, New City Council Prepare to Take Over

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot and some Chicago aldermen are already in a stare down over aldermanic power. Our politics team tackles that story and other headlines in our weekly roundtable.

Lightfoot, Aldermen Battle Over Aldermanic Prerogative

In this March 24, 2019 photo, Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot participates in a candidate forum sponsored by One Chicago For All Alliance at Daley College in Chicago. (AP Photo / Teresa Crawford)

Lori Lightfoot campaigned on forcing change in the City Council, and now she is looking to take away the unilateral power aldermen have to influence decisions in their wards. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Joins ‘Chicago Tonight’ for Exit Interview

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 5, 2018. He is scheduled to appear for a final time as mayor on the show Monday, May 13, 2019.

To his supporters, Rahm Emanuel was the brash, bright, big-city mayor who unapologetically raised Chicago’s profile as a global city. To his critics, he was a heavy-handed, top-down leader. On Monday evening, the outgoing mayor joins us in discussion.

Controversial Minister Louis Farrakhan Speaks at St. Sabina

Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam speaks at St. Sabina Church on Thursday night, May 9, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

The Nation of Islam leader who was recently banned from Facebook spoke Thursday in a wide-ranging sermon that hit upon some of the anti-Semitic and black nationalist themes he has come to be known for.

Spotlight Politics: Illinois Finds $1.5 Billion in Budget Money

A new wrinkle on the age-old tale of Illinois’ pension mess. Our politics team digests the top stories of the week.

Former Mayoral Candidate Faces New Questions About Campaign Spending

A WTTW News exclusive

Amara Enyia appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 30, 2018.

Amara Enyia received big donations from some music superstars during her bid for mayor. But state election officials are now looking into exactly how that money is accounted for.

Chicago Developer Linked to Ald. Burke Faces Bribery Charge from US Attorney

In this July 31, 2015 file photo, Ald. Ed Burke chairs a meeting of the City Council’s Finance Committee. (AP Photo / M. Spencer Green, File)

Federal prosecutors allege a Chicago developer steered business to 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke in exchange for Burke’s help getting a City Hall permit.

Spotlight Politics: Warm Send-Off for Mayor Emanuel

Ald. Ed Burke, 14th Ward, addresses Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the mayor’s final City Council meeting on Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel gets a warm send-off from his colleagues at his final City Council meeting. Our politics team tackles that and some of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering over Lincoln Yards.

City Council Approves Massive TIFs for Lincoln Yards, The 78

A rendering of the Lincoln Yards development.

After months of debate, the controversial $1 billion public subsidy for Lincoln Yards is now law. City Council approved the measure hours after Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot softened her opposition to the project.

Emanuel, Lightfoot Strike Deal on Lincoln Yards Vote, Rankling Aldermen

An artist’s rendering of the Lincoln Yards master plan released in January 2019. (Courtesy Sterling Bay)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot cut a deal on Lincoln Yards, confusing aldermen who were set to make a key vote Monday.

Burke’s Finance Committee Paid Aldermen’s Phone Bills, Travel Expenses, Records Show

In this May 4, 2011 file photo, Ald. Ed Burke speaks at a Chicago City Council meeting. (AP Photo / M. Spencer Green, File)

Ald. Ed Burke, arguably City Council’s most powerful member for much of his 50-year reign, had various ways of dishing out perks and favors to colleagues. One of those, apparently, was to help some aldermen pay their bills.

Mayor-Elect Lightfoot Mends Fences on Day One of Transition

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot smiles during a press conference at the Rainbow PUSH organization on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. (AP Photo / Nuccio DiNuzzo)

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot wasted no time getting ready for her new job. Just hours after her historic victory, Lighftoot met with city leaders and talked about plans for a transition of power.