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U.S. Attorney John Lausch’s office on Friday announced AT&T Illinois entered into a deferred prosecution agreement after prosecutors filed a one-count criminal information charging the company with using an interstate facility to promote legislative misconduct.

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“The sheer number and political stature of the Illinois elected officials and business leaders who were implicated, indicted or convicted in the 2020 is staggering,” University of Illinois at Chicago professor and former 44th Ward Ald. Dick Simpson said.

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In Illinois, there’s an added layer of intrigue (or skepticism) about electrical costs given that in 2020 ComEd admitted to federal prosecutors it spent nearly a decade using bribery to get laws passed that were  favorable to the utility company’s bottom line.

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Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 22 counts alleging that he orchestrated a criminal enterprise for a decade while serving as Illinois’ most powerful politician.

Michael Madigan file photo (WTTW News)

For nearly 40 years, former Illinois House Speaker and state Democratic Party chairman Michael Madigan was at the epicenter of politics in Chicago and Illinois. Now, he’s at the epicenter of a corruption investigation. The news has Springfield reeling.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that the state’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted on Feb. 28 during a press conference on Feb. 9, 2022. (WTTW News)
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In his first public comments since the bombshell indictment was announced, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he cooperated fully with federal investigators and denied ever having conversations about appointing disgraced former Chicago Ald. Daniel Solis to a state position.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan pictured in a file photo. (WTTW News)
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Michael Madigan, who served as speaker of the Illinois House for 36 years, led a criminal enterprise disguised as a political organization that was devoted to enriching himself and his associates, prosecutors alleged Wednesday.

Numerous Chicagoans woke up to scenes of downed tree limbs like this one in Lincoln Square after strong winds blew through the region. Dec. 16, 2021. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Wednesday saw record high temperatures across the region, wind gusts above 60 miles per hour and even the smell of smoke, which rode in on winds all the way from brush fires in Kansas.

Political corruption. Gun violence. Financial crimes. Homegrown terrorism. These are just a selection of the cases brought in the last four years by John Lausch, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

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Despite the watchdog's findings, Chicago officials insisted that ComEd was responsible for the outages.

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Thieves claiming to be affiliated with ComEd are contacting Illinois residents and threatening to shut off their electricity unless a purportedly “past-due” bill is paid immediately via Bitcoin, according to a warning from Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

A boat carries two- and four-legged passengers along the Chicago River on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (WTTW News)

ComEd treated some hard-working members of its team to the ride of their lives as a way to educate the public about the utility company’s use of goats to manage overgrown vegetation around hard-to-reach power lines.

Byron Nuclear Generating Station in Ogle County, Illinois. (Christopher Peterson / Wikimedia Commons)

Lawmakers couldn’t clinch a deal on a comprehensive energy package before their regular session ended in May, but were called back to Springfield on Tuesday to try again. Instead, the Senate adjourned once again without taking action.

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ComEd officials said they were not responsible for the outages on May 6 and May 25 at the Roseland Pumping Station.

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The firm also vowed to fight climate change and reduce shut-offs

Several aldermen are unconvinced that the city should ink a new franchise agreement with ComEd — and Chicago may have other options, officials said.

(WTTW News)

Firms have until July 30 to submit their pitch to operate and manage the electric distribution system that serves residents and businesses in Chicago, officials said.