Ald. Cochran Pleads Guilty To Federal Charge

Cochran Dirksen
Ald. Willie Cochran, 20th Ward, exits Dirksen Federal Building after rejecting a plea deal in November. Claudia Morell / WBEZ
Cochran Dirksen
Ald. Willie Cochran, 20th Ward, exits Dirksen Federal Building after rejecting a plea deal in November. Claudia Morell / WBEZ

Ald. Cochran Pleads Guilty To Federal Charge

Update at 12:07 p.m.

Indicted South Side Ald. Willie Cochran pleaded guilty to a felony charge of wire fraud in federal court Thursday.

The 20th Ward alderman entered the plea at a hearing in his case of alleged bribery, extortion and wire fraud. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

WBEZ obtained an email the aldermen wrote earlier this month indicating he would accept a plea deal to one count of wire fraud, pay a $15,000 fine and resign his City Council seat. 

Cochran rejected an earlier plea deal with federal prosecutors in November.

The alleged crimes include stealing from a charity and soliciting bribes.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.