CHICAGO (WLS) —
Embattled Chicago Ald. Willie Cochran (20th Ward), who backed out of a plea deal final week with a federal prosecutors in his corruption case, talked about that call Wednesday for the first time.
In an unique interview with ABC7, Cochran provided new perception into the plea deal and provided an evidence concerning the charity fund he’s accused of stealing from.
“We did not get to the purpose that I used to be snug with, there was some issues within the plea that I didn’t agree with,” stated Cochran, who returned to Metropolis Hall on Wednesday for the primary time since rejecting the deal.
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Federal prosecutors alleged Cochran, who represents neighborhoods on the South Aspect, stole tens of hundreds of dollars from his twentieth Ward Activities fund, a charity set as much as assist needy residents.
Cochran says the he put $32,000 of his own money into the account and whereas he did borrow from it for personal expenses, together with for his daughters school tuition and gambling at a casino, he stated he paid all the a refund and extra.
Cochran stated the feds allege there’s $14,000 unaccounted for. But Cochran says that money went to pay ward residents who labored numerous occasions for him, and they are prepared to testify to that.
“I simply need to say that I apologize to the citizens of this metropolis and my coworkers and others for locating myself in this pickle. It’s nothing that I ever needed to be with and I am not somebody who extorts, takes bribes,” Cochran stated.
Cochran stated the plea deal he rejected referred to as for him to confess to establishing the charity account as a scheme to deceive donors. He stated that isn’t true, and he could not admit to that.
“There isn’t any intent to do something to harm anybody. Perhaps human error, however no intent,” Cochran stated.
The issue for Cochran is that intent might not matter. One former federal prosecutor likened it to a bank robber paying again the cash and hoping to not face costs.
Cochran stated tells me he is nonetheless hoping to work out a plea deal for no jail time earlier than his June third trial.
“I might like to get to a spot where we will put this thing behind us,” Cochran stated.
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