Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.
Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.
This afternoon the city will see showers and thunderstorms likely with a high near 71 degrees. Tonight the showers are expected to continue with a low around 38. Tomorrow will be sunny and windy with a high near 55.
Feds: City may seek to intervene in case against Danny Solis, claiming to be victim
The City of Chicago may seek to intervene in the bribery case against former Ald. Danny Solis (25th) and claim to be a victim of his crime — a disclosure from prosecutors that partly short-circuited Solis’ court appearance today.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Amarjeet Bhachu said he learned of the city’s interest in filing a pleading in Solis’ case this morning. Neither he nor Solis’ attorney, Lisa Noller, objected to a short delay in Solis’ case so the city could make its argument.
Bhachu said the government “always invites” the participation of victims. But he added, “whether or not, in this case, the city actually is a victim, remains to be determined. It is doubtful it is, in fact, the case.”
A spokeswoman for Mayor Lori Lightfoot did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, has previously said she is “deeply offended” by the secret deal Solis struck with the government that went public Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood agreed to continue part of Solis’ hearing until April 21.
Before she did so, Solis formally pleaded not guilty to a bribery charge filed against him last week. His plea — as well as simple answers he gave to other questions from the judge — amounted to his first public comments since his secret cooperation with prosecutors was exposed by the Chicago Sun-Times in January 2019.
“I plead not guilty, your honor,” Solis said.
Solis’ deal, signed Dec. 26, 2018, means his prosecution on one count of bribery could be put off until 2025. Assuming he continues to cooperate with prosecutors and meets other terms of the deal, prosecutors have promised to seek dismissal of that charge and not prosecute Solis for other conduct he’s disclosed.
He struck that deal after gathering evidence for years against Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) and former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
As a result, Solis could avoid prison time and a criminal conviction despite a lengthy investigation into his own alleged misdeeds exposed in a bombshell FBI affidavit first obtained by the Sun-Times.
Jon Seidel has more on Solis’ case here.
More news you need
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot today blamed a West Side porch collapse that killed a 53-year-old man and seriously injured two others on a “family home” that a brother and sister could not afford to maintain. She used the tragedy to underscore the need to solve Chicago’s affordable housing crisis and help residents make the repairs and routine maintenance necessary to stay safely in their homes.
- Ald. Nick Sposato has been accused of violating the city’s ethics ordinance after a photo from his time as a former firefighter recently garnered attention. The Chicago Board of Ethics found probable cause to believe that Sposato’s use of the photo taken on city property wearing a city-issued gear was an ethics violation. He blamed “commie, lefty loons” for accusing him of violating the ordinance.
- In another move to diversify the federal bench based in Chicago — long dominated by white men — President Joe Biden today picked trailblazing Asian American and Latino nominees. Biden nominated U.S. District Court Judge John Lee for a spot on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and named his first nominee for a slot on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois — Nancy Maldonado.
- A developer and the mayor today praised indicted Ald. Carrie Austin for sharing the tax credits needed to complete a 102-unit building that will allow senior citizens to live affordably and independently in Englewood. The developer aired the untold story of Austin’s generosity at today’s grand opening for the $26.6M Montclare Senior Residences.
- The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly made a brief stop in Ukrainian Village today as a “sign of solidarity of the British government with Ukraine.” Cleverly’s visit was part of a Midwest goodwill tour that comes amid mounting calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign after the UK leader was fined for attending a lockdown-breaching party in his official residence.
- Quentin Tarantino is expected to unfold his directing chair here next month to film the opening episode of a revival of the FX show “Justified.” The limited series – titled “Justified: City Primeval” – will film in various locations around Chicago, which will double as Detroit, where the story takes place.
A bright one
White Sox fans welcome new season with glee at home opener
Dan Kozlowski, of Crown Point, Indiana, is the world’s biggest White Sox fan — at least according to his belt. Kozlowski specially ordered and personalized the giant black belt online. Born and raised a Sox fan, Kozlowski arrived at 5:15 a.m. to get a prime parking spot for the home opener at Guaranteed Rate Field yesterday.
“I challenge anybody to be as big of a Sox fan as me,” Kozlowski said. “There may be some that tie me, but nobody beats me.”
He roots for the Sox through thick and thin, Kozlowski said, holding a beer in one hand and his belt in the other.
For Armando Davila — it’s more like through sleet and snow. A resident of the Galewood neighborhood, Davila has been attending the home opener for more than 20 years and has experienced all sorts of weather.
“It started with my brother, my Dad and myself and a small grill,” Davila said. “It grew into my family and my kids, and now everybody comes.”
He was grateful that it was warm this year. Around Davila, about 15 close friends and family lounged and talked in lawn chairs. Davila was busy grilling sausages and said he would soon start some chicken wings.
“I love that everybody has a good time, and everybody is friendly,” Davila said
Cadence Quaranta has more sights and sounds from the South Side’s Opening Day here.
From the press box
- After a disappointing 2021, White Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel says he “fully” expects to “to be back and producing and helping come playoff time.” Steve Greenberg has more on the 2015 AL Cy Young winner’s comments.
- The Bulls-Bucks playoff series begins Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. on TNT. Check out the full series schedule here.
- In a one-on-one with our Joe Cowley, not only did Bulls head coach Billy Donovan explain his coaching philosophy as far as accountability, but also what needs to happen moving forward with this group — going into the playoffs and beyond.
- Peacock’s Sunday morning MLB package will kick off May 8 with a matchup between the White Sox and Red Sox.
Your daily question ☕
How do you feel about the Biden administration’s extension of the travel mask requirement to May 3?
Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
Yesterday, we asked you: Office workers — what has the return to in-person work been like for you?
Here’s what some of you said…
“Horrible anxiety depression. I just want to be home. There’s so much going on outside. I just pray about it.” — Birgetta Boyd Clay
“We returned to the office last year. The return was hard as it seemed like no one learned anything about the pandemic and it was back to business as usual. I had a better home and work balance when I was home and much more productive both at work and home.” — Ale Rz
“It’s been deja vu but good to have just a little in-person collaboration. Only two office days per month and home the rest of the time. I love it and it’s a win-win.” — Graham Stegall
“I enjoyed not having to deal with the long commute every day and the loud passengers. I miss working from home.” — Tina Marie
“It’s been awful. Ownership is untethered to a post-pandemic reality. There’s no more ‘give and take.’ It’s all ‘take.’ When the staff was called ‘overhead’ at the company party a few years back, I guess they meant it.” — Julie Jackson
“Honestly, working from home is probably the first time in my life I’d ever really felt human. The time and money I saved on a commute I could devote to exercise and eating healthy again ... now I honestly don’t know what to do. They shook up all of our lives already into this new system of working from home, and it’s actually worked very well for a lot of people. Morale has been boosted. Now they want to shake it back up again and drag us all back. Why? For what reason? It makes no sense.” — Andrew Nicklin
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