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Ald. Willie Cochran entered his plea Thursday to one felony count of wire fraud for spending campaign funds on personal purchases, including gambling and his daughter's college tuition.

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The outgoing 20th Ward alderman is set to appear at a change-of-plea hearing on March 21. He was charged in 2016 with 15 federal charges including fraud, bribery and extortion.

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Prominent Chicago Ald. Willie B. Cochran surprised courtroom observers at a hearing Wednesday by turning down a plea agreement in his federal corruption case that his lawyer contends could have meant little to no prison time.

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Charges were announced Wednesday as the South Side alderman, a former Chicago police officer, attended the final City Council meeting of the year.

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Could reports of an exam-cheating probe related to Eddie Johnson's fiancée derail his confirmation as top cop? Should IPRA be abolished? A panel of aldermen tackle these questions and more.

Aldermen Demand Faster Results

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After yet another weekend of shootings, the city is pushing back, calling out 37 businesses that officials say foster crime. But aldermen are calling for more aggressive tactics, including an amped use of stop-and-frisk.