Federal Investigation Outlines Explosive Charges Against Solis, Pritzker Issues Disaster Declaration – TODAY 01-29-19

Federal Investigation Outlines Explosive Allegations Against Ald. Danny Solis A 120-page federal affidavit obtained by the Sun-Times outlines explosive allegations against Chicago Alderman Danny Solis, who last week was revealed to have been wearing a wire during conversations with Alderman Ed Burke, who is facing federal corruption charges. Chicago City Hall. Photo by Aaron Cynic. According to the Sun-Times, federal investigators listened in on more than 18,000 conversations Solis had on one of his cellphones for at least a year, as well as private meetings and trips to massage parlors. Solis, who is chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee, was revealed to have been cooperating with federal investigators for more than two years. In addition to recording conversations with Burke, who is accused of attempting to extort money from a South Side Burger King by allegedly demanding its owner hire his law firm and make a $10,000 donation to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s mayoral campaign, conversations between Solis and other powerful people - including Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan - were scooped up by investigators. No charges have been filed against Solis, but the affidavit lays out a long case of corruption. The accusations include helping a street sweeping company to lower its water bill in exchange for campaign donations, and making plans with a well connected political operative to exchange Viagra pills and visit massage parlors while discussing the deal. Additionally, Solis was allegedly given a free weekend for his son’s graduation party at a farm owned by a developer Solis had proposed a city ordinance favorable to the developer’s business interests. Both the developer and the operative have denied any wrongdoing. Pritzker Issues Statewide Disaster Declaration Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has issued a statewide disaster declaration ahead of a potentially life-threatening cold snap. "This storm poses a serious threat to the well-being of people around the state, and we will use every tool at our disposal to keep our residents safe," said Pritzker in a press release. "This disaster proclamation ensures that the state of Illinois has the flexibility to effectively and efficiently respond to the needs of local governments during this extreme weather event." Illinois Governor JB Pritzker speaks to supporters on election night in November 2018. Photo by Aaron Cynic. Temperatures in Chicago are expected to reach -19 degrees Tuesday night and -22 Wednesday night, with potential wind chills of more than -40 degrees. Wind chills in northern parts of Illinois could reach more than -55 degrees. The Illinois Department of Public Health warns frostbite can set in on exposed skin in under 15 minutes. The mayor’s office reminded landlords on Monday to be aware of the Chicago Heat Ordinance, which maintains that from September 15 through June 1, the temperature inside a rental residence is required to be 68 degrees from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and 66 degrees from 10:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. “The City of Chicago has all hands on deck to provide support and assistance to residents across the city who are dealing with the dangerous cold,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Landlords are responsible for providing adequate heat to their tenants and should be proactively checking their buildings and addressing issues immediately to prevent situations from becoming emergencies.” Chicago Public Schools announced that all after-school activities are cancelled on Tuesday, and all schools will be closed on Wednesday. The Chicago Park District has designated field houses throughout the city as warming centers. You can find a full list of warming centers at Keep Warm Illinois.
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Aaron Cynic