Your NPR news source
Sam McCann

Former Illinois state Sen. Sam McCann is charged with misusing more than $200,000 in campaign funds.

Seth Perlman/AP

Former Illinois Governor Candidate Hit With 9-Count Corruption Indictment

A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted former Illinois state Sen. Sam McCann, who lost a longshot 2018 bid for governor, for allegedly misusing more than $200,000 in campaign funds during a five-year period.

Originally a Republican, McCann, of downstate Plainview, gained prominence for his third-party candidacy to unseat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, drawing more than 192,000 votes statewide to finish third behind Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker and Rauner.

The nine-count indictment against McCann, who served in the state Senate between 2011 and 2019, alleged wire fraud, money-laundering and tax evasion. The alleged wrongdoing came during his gubernatorial campaign and in its aftermath.

In April 2019, WBEZ first reported that McCann appeared to be in the crosshairs of federal investigators, who had subpoenaed the Illinois Senate for emails, mileage reimbursement records and other payments to the former state senator.

The indictment publicized Wednesday alleged McCann used more than $60,000 in campaign funds to help pay for a 2017 Ford Expedition and a 2018 Ford F-250.

He also is accused of using campaign funds to improperly award himself mileage reimbursements, pay off a mortgage and equipment loan, make a $10,000 down payment on a motorhome and cover expenses for a family trip to Colorado.

McCann “stole, misappropriated, and converted thousands of dollars in campaign funds to his personal use,” the indictment reads.

The former lawmaker, 51, did not respond to WBEZ’s request for Wednesday.

Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold cover Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow them on Twitter @davemckinney and @tonyjarnold.

The Latest
In an attempt to meet people where they are, Chicago now has a licensed professional counselor at the Legler Regional Library.
The inspector general’s office urged Johnson to create a task force aimed at “preventing, identifying, and eliminating extremist and anti-government activities and associations within CPD.”
A greater share of Chicago area Republicans cast their ballots by mail in March compared to the 2022 primary, but they were still vastly outpaced by Democrats in using a voting system that has become increasingly popular.
As the 2024 presidential election approaches, officials, advocates and experts have expressed concern over misinformation and disinformation about candidates and elections in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.
In interviews with WBEZ, several decried the length of sentence the 80-year-old could face, while a handful of others said he deserves significant time in prison.