Chicago Ald. Willie Cochran pleads guilty to corruption, resigns

CHICAGO — Ald. Willie Cochran has resigned after pleading guilty Thursday morning to one count of wire fraud.

The former 20th Ward alderman, who was elected in 2007, was indicted more than two years ago on 15 counts of theft, bribery and extorting.

Cochran was accused of shaking down businessmen in exchange for his support on various deals within the ward. Prosecutors also said he stole money from a charitable fund, meant to help children and seniors, to pay for his daughter's college tuition, gambling and other personal expenses.

As part of a deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss several counts against him, which should reduce an eventual prison sentence. Cochran now faces up to 18 months in prison.

In November, he turned down a plea deal that would have given him probation.

Cochran and his lawyers declined to comment after Thursday's proceedings. A sentencing date was not set.

Cochran is Chicago's 30th alderman since 1972 to be convicted of official wrongdoing, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.