© 2024 NPR Illinois
The Capital's Community & News Service
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
2024 Spring Drive Update: If you have not given yet this year, your support is needed. Any amount makes a difference. Please CLICK HERE to donate now.

In last-minute reversal, former Sen. Sam McCann pleads guilty to corruption charges

Former state Sen. Sam McCann’s federal corruption trial concluded Thursday as he pleaded guilty. The onetime Republican and third-party candidate for governor is pictured in a mugshot after being arrested last week for violating his conditions of pretrial release.
Courthouse photo by Hannah Meisel, Capitol News Illinois
Former state Sen. Sam McCann’s federal corruption trial concluded Thursday as he pleaded guilty. The onetime Republican and third-party candidate for governor is pictured in a mugshot after being arrested last week for violating his conditions of pretrial release.

As federal prosecutors were prepping to rest their case Thursday in the corruption trial of former Republican state Sen. Sam McCann, the defendant made an abrupt announcement: he’s pleading guilty on all counts.

Prosecutors accused McCann of “greed, fraud and arrogance” in illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses, including paying two mortgages, financing multiple vehicles and vacations, fraudulently cutting himself checks for work not performed, and double-dipping on reimbursement for miles driven.

On Thursday, Prosecutors played more than three hours of recordings made by federal agents who met with McCann on separate occasions in 2018.

McCann’s trial had been delayed on numerous occasions, including in November when he fired his legal team, and last week when he was admitted to a St. Louis hospital for an undisclosed health issue.

It was also delayed from Monday’s rescheduled start date to Tuesday after McCann once again agreed to allowing a court-appointed attorney to defend him.

Judge Colleen Lawless has scheduled McCann’s sentencing for June.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of newspapers, radio and TV stations statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

Hannah covers state government and politics for Capitol News Illinois. She's been dedicated to the statehouse beat since interning at NPR Illinois in 2014, with subsequent stops at WILL-AM/FM, Law360, Capitol Fax and The Daily Line before returning to NPR Illinois in 2020 and moving to CNI in 2023.
Related Stories