ComEd bribery trial’s closing arguments, CPD officer faces dismissal and more in your Chicago news roundup

Today’s update is about an eight-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

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The “ComEd Four” — (clockwise from top left) Michael McClain, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, ex-ComEd lobbyist John Hooker and onetime City Club President Jay Doherty.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about an eight-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

— Matt Moore (@MattKenMoore)

Weather ⛅

This afternoon will be partly sunny with a high near 53 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low near 39 and a chance of showers. Tomorrow will also be mostly cloudy with a high near 49 and a chance of showers.


Top story

Closing their case in ComEd bribery trial, prosecutors hammer at ‘stunning’ stream of benefits delivered to Michael Madigan

Federal prosecutors rejected today the idea that a “stunning” stream of benefits delivered to former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan by four political power players in his final decade in office amounted to legal lobbying, goodwill or politics.

Instead, Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane MacArthur told jurors “it became so much, so that when Madigan said ‘jump,’ these defendants said ‘how high?’”

Or, in the case of intern slots allegedly set aside by ComEd for people from Madigan’s ward, “How low should we go?”

MacArthur made her comments during closing arguments in the trial of four people accused of a decade-long conspiracy to bribe Madigan. The trial is in its final stage, and the case will likely be in jurors’ hands by Tuesday.

Madigan confidant Michael McClain, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, ex-ComEd lobbyist John Hooker and onetime City Club President Jay Doherty are accused of arranging for jobs, contracts and money for Madigan allies in an illegal bid to sway Madigan as legislation crucial to ComEd moved through Springfield.

Our Jon Seidel and Tina Sfondeles have the latest on today’s iteration of the trial.


More news you need


A bright one ☀️

Hundreds of Chicago area Muslims unite for Spanish Eid al-Fitr service in Jefferson Park

Piñatas, pony rides and prayer mats filled Jefferson Park’s LaBagh Woods last Friday afternoon as Muslims from Chicago and neighboring suburbs celebrated Eid al-Fitr, a three-day celebration of the end of Ramadan.

Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims dedicated to prayer and reflection, is observed with fasting from sunrise to sundown.

Chicago’s Ojala Foundation, which aims to bring Latino Muslims, among others, together in their faith, returned to in-person Ramadan celebrations last year, though this year’s event brought out hundreds compared to smaller numbers in years past.

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Salem Khan one of the organizers with the Ojala Foundation carries a serving dish full of hamburgers over to the serving table during an Eid al-Fitr celebration hosted by the Ojala Foundation at LaBagh Woods last Friday.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere

Saleem Khan, 26, spent most of his day tending the grills, where 40 pounds of chicken and 60 pounds of beef were cooked. He joined the group three years ago and has been helping with food at the foundation’s larger events as a way to give back.

Khan said he’d been distant from the religion most of his life because of stigmas in certain religious circles, including his own family, making him feel excluded because he was both Indian and Mexican. That all changed when he attended an Ojala event and heard two members speaking “real, authentic” Mexican Spanish, joking around with each other.

“I’ve been able to meet so many new people and grow my family outside of my family,” Khan said. “This group redefined what it meant to be Muslim for me.”

Our Violet Miller has more on Friday’s gathering.


From the press box 🏈⚾


Your daily question☕

What is the quintessential Chicago dish? Tell us why.

Email us (please include your first and last name) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

On Friday, we asked you: What is hands-down the best live music venue in Chicago?

Here’s some of what you said…

“Definitely The Green Mill in Uptown. You get very up close and personal with some outstanding jazz musicians in a historic building.” — Ryan L.

“My personal favorite live music venue in Chicago is the Empty Bottle on Western. Their space has a homeish feeling, like you’re watching a band in your friend’s basement. They host an eclectic array of local and national artists, and the bartenders are always A+. Sometimes I attend a show there without even knowing what band is playing, I just trust that Empty Bottle will always be an enjoyable and interesting environment.” — Val Lunsford

“Indoor: Thalia Hall — great sound and general vibe to the place. Also, wonderful food options and parking nearby. Outdoor: The Salt Shed — nice flow to the space and you can’t beat the skyline behind the stage!” — Mike M.

“Love Beat Kitchen, home of my first mosh pit.” — Ned L.

“Metro because it’s limited to only a few hundred people.” — Jay Aaron Hollis

“Northerly Island is by far the best outdoor music venue. The atmosphere is good and so are the acoustics.” — Rich A.

“There is nothing like a concert at the Chicago Theater. We get there very early to find a place to have a drink and people-watch from the second floor of that elegant marble and chandelier-draped lobby. Then a walk into that spectacular interior space with the painted ceilings with intricate lighting, and fancy balconies. Great acoustics, audience energy, and my personal superstars.” — Sue Marshall


Thanks for reading the Chicago Sun-Times Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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