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New details emerge about AT&T’s alleged plan to bribe House speaker – Chicago Tribune

Good morning Chicago.

Less than two weeks after AT&T Illinois’ bill to end mandatory landline service became law in 2017, the utility’s then-president Paul La Schiazza reportedly received a request for a family of House Speaker Michael Madigan to sponsor a nonprofit event.

The unnamed relative said the idea came “at the suggestion of our good friend, Mike McClain,” a former lobbyist and longtime Madigan confidant, according to a new prosecutor’s filing. La Schiazza sent the request to a colleague in the legislative affairs department on July 12, 2017, writing “this will take forever,” according to the filing.

“I suspect the opportunities for ‘thank you’ will be plentiful,’” the colleague reportedly responded via email, referring to the recent passage of AT&T’s coveted landline legislation that is expected to save the company millions of dollars.

“Yes,” La Schiazza allegedly responded. “Now we’re on the friends and family plan.”

The email exchange, which was first revealed in a recent court filing, gets to the heart of the bribery case against La Schiazza, who goes on trial in September on charges that he approved a scheme to funnel payments to a Madigan. partner in exchange for the speaker’s help in passing legislation important to the company.

Read the full story from the Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Ray Long.

Here are the top stories you need to know to start your day.

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City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin, candidate for U.S. Congress in the 7th District, greets people on Primary Election Day, March 19, 2024, at Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen in the South Loop.  (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)
City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin, candidate for U.S. Congress in the 7th District, greets people on Primary Election Day, March 19, 2024, at Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen in the South Loop. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

The treasurer faces an additional $10,000 fine; Ethics leaders punish Johnson

The Chicago Board of Ethics issued an additional $10,000 fine to City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin on Monday for the firing of two top aides who alleged she misused taxpayer resources and pressured government workers to help their political allies.

The fine follows an inspector general investigation and a probable cause finding by the board in November, which Conyears-Ervin had a chance to refute in the meantime. In accordance with board policy, Conyears-Ervin was not named. A spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

People outside the House of Representatives as lawmakers are in session on Feb. 20, 2024, at the Illinois State Capitol.  (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)
People outside the House of Representatives as lawmakers are in session on Feb. 20, 2024, at the Illinois State Capitol. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Illinois Lawmakers Retry State Public Defender Legislation

Illinois lawmakers plan to make a second effort to create a state office to help under-resourced public defenders after an earlier effort failed amid questions about whether the office would remain independent of the judiciary.

The Wadsworth Elementary School migrant shelter on October 18, 2023 in Chicago.  (Armando L. Sánchez/Chicago Tribune)
The Wadsworth Elementary School migrant shelter on October 18, 2023 in Chicago. (Armando L. Sánchez/Chicago Tribune)

City closes migrant shelter in former school on South Side

All shelter residents have been moved to neighboring shelters or permanent housing, officials said Monday when the city announced it had “recently decompressed” the migrant shelter at the former Wadsworth Elementary School in the Woodlawn neighborhood.

Colorful toy cars, superhero figures, toys, flowers and flags adorn 5-year-old Andrew's tombstone.

Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune

Colorful toy cars, superhero figures, toys, flowers and flags adorn the headstone of Andrew “AJ” Freund, 5, at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum on Dec. 5, 2019 in Palatine. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune)

Prosecutor opposes bill to help mothers whose babies are born with drugs in their system

A proposal to change the way Illinois handles new mothers with drug use disorders aims to prioritize treatment, but has raised “serious concerns” from a prosecutor who oversaw an infamous case.

A bill in Springfield would end the requirement that prosecutors be notified when a baby is born with controlled substances in their system and would no longer necessarily consider that evidence of child abuse.

The hope is that by removing the threat of losing custody of a baby, mothers will be more likely to seek treatment.

Torpedo Hockey Club player Anton Silayev seen in action during a match against SKA Saint Petersburg on March 9, 2024. (Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket)
Torpedo Hockey Club player Anton Silayev seen in action during a match against SKA Saint Petersburg on March 9, 2024. (Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket)

Who will the Blackhawks select with the second pick? A closer look at 5 potential options.

When the Chicago Bears had the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the phone lines were buzzing before the Bears accepted the Carolina Panthers’ best offer. It was a different story when the Blackhawks had the No. 1 pick in last year’s NHL draft.

“Yeah, I didn’t really hear from a lot of teams,” general manager Kyle Davidson said.

Two words: Connor Bedard. Why bother?

This year’s draft, which will be held June 28-29 in Las Vegas, is a different matter.

Wide receiver Rome Odunze (15) watches his teammates practice during the Bears' rookie minicamp at Halas Hall on Saturday, May 11, 2024, in Lake Forest.  (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)
Wide receiver Rome Odunze (15) watches his teammates practice during the Bears’ rookie minicamp at Halas Hall on May 11, 2024, in Lake Forest. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)

5 things we heard from Bears assistant coaches, including Caleb Williams’ drive to learn and Rome Odunze’s new mentors

After the Chicago Bears wrapped up their second practice of rookie minicamp Saturday at Halas Hall, assistant coaches met with reporters to talk about their position groups.

The interview sessions included several new coaches under offensive coordinator Shane Waldron: passing game coordinator Thomas Brown, quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph, wide receivers coach Chris Beatty and running backs coach Chad Morton.

Here are five things we heard from coaches.

Cubs catcher Miguel Amaya and pitcher Shota Imanaga enter from the bullpen before Imanaga's start against the Padres at Wrigley Field on May 7, 2024. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)
Cubs catcher Miguel Amaya and pitcher Shota Imanaga enter from the bullpen before Imanaga’s start against the Padres at Wrigley Field on May 7, 2024. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)

Roku will stream MLB games on Sundays starting this week, and viewers will be able to watch them for free without one of the devices.

Roku will stream Major League Baseball games on Sundays starting this week, and viewers will be able to watch them for free and won’t have to use a Roku device, the streaming service announced Monday.

Roku has secured multi-year rights to MLB’s Sunday openers, starting with the Boston Red Sox at the St. Louis Cardinals this Sunday. Broadcasts will be produced in collaboration with local broadcast teams.

Stuart Rosenberg played with musical groups such as the Rogues, Laketown Buskers and The Otters.  (Chip Covington)
Stuart Rosenberg played with musical groups such as the Rogues, Laketown Buskers and The Otters. (Chip Covington)

In memoriam: musician Stuart Rosenberg turned the world from ‘black and white to technicolor’

In an area rich in musical talent and inspiring people, few combined those qualities as convincingly as did Stuart J. Rosenberg, a man of Promethean skill and accomplishment, and let’s not forget infectious good humor.

Jessica Sedgwick and Dan Ochwat with their son Selden, at West Ridge Nature Park on May 6, 2024. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)
Jessica Sedgwick and Dan Ochwat with their son Selden, at West Ridge Nature Park on May 6, 2024. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

Hiking to Jump: Chicago Couple’s New Book Uses Nature and Beer to Explore Chicagoland

Within the pages of the book, 30 hiking areas and breweries in the city and surrounding suburbs come to life thanks to helpful descriptions by Dan Ochwat and Jessica Sedgwick. More of a travel journal than a serious trail guide, the book’s prose adds color and charm to every ride, plus tons of information about the brewery of the day. They share, for example, that Black Horizon Brewery in Willowbrook is one of four Black-owned breweries in the Chicago area, and is a must-visit after a 10-mile hike and a dip in nearby Waterfall Glen.

A second plover, in addition to Imani and wearing a band of green spots on its leg, walks along the lake shore on May 13, 2024, at the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary.  (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)
A second plover, in addition to Imani and wearing a band of green spots on its leg, walks along the lake shore on May 13, 2024, at the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

A second piping plover has joined Imani at Montrose Beach. But he is not a companion.

The only known surviving chick of the famous Chicago plover pair, Monty and Rose, has a new rival.

A second plover, unofficially known as Green Dot, has joined the city’s favorite bachelor avian, Imani, on the north side’s Montrose Beach.

The newcomer, believed to be a man, has been seen walking alongside Imani, on a parallel path. And while that may seem like companion behavior to humans, among plovers, the message is different.