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Jon Seidel

Federal courts reporter

Jon Seidel covers federal courts for the Chicago Sun-Times.

The ex-Illinois House Speaker was recorded on a wiretapped phone call in 2018 discussing with lobbyist confidant Michael McClain a plan to arrange secret payments to a close political ally who had been implicated in a sexual harassment scandal, newly released court documents show. Madigan has always denied any involvement in the scheme.
Cassandra Cales says she would support Drew Peterson’s former defense attorney Joel Brodsky if he gets in trouble with a judge, as long as he helps end her nearly 15-year search for her “best friend.”
Drew Peterson may never have been locked up had Stacy Peterson not gone missing in 2007. That set in motion a chain of events that led to Drew Peterson’s 2012 conviction for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, whose death had initially been ruled an accident.
It all began earlier this month when Kelly lawyer Jennifer Bonjean asked U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber to delay the trial set for Aug. 1 of Kelly, McDavid and Milton “June” Brown, another former Kelly worker.
The unusual move came more than a month after the testimony of Keith Billiot, now retired, a former supervisory special agent for the DEA. He later walked back his comment, telling a judge race was “irrelevant” to the DEA’s work.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman called Louis Capriotti’s threats “vicious, laced with profanity, disgusting in every way.” And he called Capriotti’s false claim of being a Marine “particularly despicable.”
Patrick Spilotro told a judge in 2009 that, “the deaths of my brothers, as significant as it was, is not what defines this family. Family is what defines this family. And anyone with a family knows no one is perfect.”
Kelly is already facing a potential life sentence in federal prison after a jury in Brooklyn convicted him of racketeering. His sentencing there is set for June 15. Though his attorney had hoped to delay Kelly’s sentencing until after his Chicago trial, the Brooklyn judge refused.
A judge in March denied a request from Vrdolyak, 84, for compassionate release. Vrdolyak’s lawyer had cited his “spiraling health issues,” reporting that he spent two weeks in solitary confinement after he reported to Minnesota’s FMC Rochester.