The Watchdogs

Investigations of government, politicians, education, business and issues affecting taxpayers and consumers.

Terminally ill or medically incapacitated prisoners can apply for early release. But the Illinois Prisoner Review Board has denied twice as many requests as it OK’d — and seven prisoners died months after their applications were rejected, an Injustice Watch / WBEZ investigation found.
Tim Mapes, longtime chief of staff to one of Illinois’ most powerful politicians, listened as a federal prosecutor accused him of flaunting his oath to tell the truth, committing crimes and choosing “Team Madigan” as a grand jury closed in on his old boss.
Witnesses in the perjury trial of Tim Mapes have said they found his forced resignation in June 2018 to be surprising, unexpected, traumatic. But Tuesday, jurors heard Mapes’ wife describe how he handled being fired amid a #MeToo wave at the Capitol.
Defense lawyers for Tim Mapes are expected to call witnesses of their own over the next day or so. They said they weren’t sure whether Mapes would take the stand in his own defense, though it seems unlikely.
Jurors hear additional recordings that seemed to show the close relationship between Tim Mapes and Michael McClain.
Torrey Price retired from the Chicago Police Department on July 15 — about two weeks before he was indicted for fraud. Aaron Price, the other former cop who’s charged, retired in 2017.
Prosecutors have used a monthslong wiretap of Michael Madigan confidant Michael McClain’s phone to make their case that Tim Mapes lied in 2021 and tried to block the feds’ aggressive investigation of Madigan and McClain.
Said Qreini was arrested in late July while boarding a plane for Turkey, authorities say.
Tim Mapes is on trial for perjury and attempted obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to block the feds’ investigation of Michael Madigan and Michael McClain, who face criminal charges of their own.
The units made by Gree Electric Appliances are linked to house fires and four deaths. It’s the latest recall for a company that’s faced civil and criminal cases over its dehumidifiers.
The email, sent by Michael McClain to Tim Mapes and others close to Madigan, was used by prosecutors in Mapes’ perjury trial to undercut the argument that Mapes didn’t remember McClain doing tasks or assignments for Madigan at the time.
The email and others appeared to underscore the feds’ contention that Tim Mapes was well aware of a federal investigation and its key points before he wound up in front of the grand jury and drew a blank on some questions.
The link between the chemicals and this cancer among service members had never directly been proven — until now.
Agent Brendan O’Leary told jurors that Michael Madigan depended on “his tight inner circle,” which is why the FBI was so interested in hearing what his longtime chief of staff, Tim Mapes, would say in front of a grand jury.
Defense attorneys argued that Tim Mapes did not lie to a grand jury in 2021 but didn’t know or couldn’t remember the answers to certain questions he was asked under oath.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Schwartz has signaled one witness will likely be former state Rep. Greg Harris, who was secretly recorded by the FBI speaking with a longtime Madigan ally about becoming majority leader.
His lawyers say he testified truthfully for hours in response to questions from prosecutors who asked more than 650 questions.