Jon Seidel

Federal Courts Reporter

Jon Seidel writes about federal courts and legal affairs for the Chicago Sun-Times. He has covered several high-profile trials, including of former Chicago Ald. Edward M. Burke, R&B superstar R. Kelly, ex-Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, onetime Bolingbrook Police Sgt. Drew Peterson and convicted killer Christopher Vaughn. He also covered the prosecutions of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Heather Mack. He is the author of Second City Sinners.

Ex-state Sen. Annazette Collins told the judge that she “let the voters down” and is “determined to never be in this situation again.”
Nearly a decade has passed since an Illinois politician as significant as Burke faced sentencing at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. The need to send a message to others is sure to be on the judge’s mind when she makes her decision.
Iman Bambooyani admitted to jet-setting across the country with four women and paying them thousands of dollars for sex. He’s now agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors.
U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber took senior status in 2002, but he continued to preside over blockbuster trials 20 years later. They included the trial of former R&B star R. Kelly in 2022 and a major corruption trial involving four political insiders tied to ComEd. “He was an honorable judge and an honorable man,” said Kelly attorney Jennifer Bonjean.
Prosecutors want a judge to give Chicago’s longest-serving City Council member a 10-year prison sentence for corruption. But defense attorneys hope to sway the judge to spare him any prison time with stories of Ed Burke’s good deeds.
Burke, 80, Chicago’s longest-serving City Council member, is two weeks away from his June 24 sentencing hearing. Burke’s lawyers have asked the judge to give their client no prison time.
Kelly Lynn Fontaine and Bryan Dula of Lockport were charged earlier this year and accused of spending 11 minutes inside the U.S. Capitol that day.
The investigation into the death of Chrys Carvajal led to last month’s highly publicized FBI raid in Lincoln Square.
Federal and local officials have repeatedly said they are ready for what could be one of the biggest events to hit Chicago in decades. It’s been described by one Chicago police official as bigger than the 2012 NATO Summit and 1996 Democratic National Convention.