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State Week: Cities Opting Out Of Marijuana, Schock Corruption Charges Dropped, McSweeney Out For Now

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Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois

Naperville government prohibits recreational sales of the drug in the community. Corruptions charges are formally dropped against former Congressman Aaron Schock. And a vocal conservative lawmaker says he won’t seek reelection.

The Naperville City Council’s 6-3 vote came amid pressure from scores of local recreational marijuana skeptics. They say allowing pot shops would hurt the affluent city’s “family friendly” image.

The move throws into question one of the first five recreational dispensary licenses, issued last week by the state to the 3C Compassionate Care Center medical marijuana dispensary.

Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock saw federal corruption charges formally dropped. the Peoria Republican entered into an unusual deferred-prosecution agreement in March, requiring him to pay $68,000 back to his campaign fund, pay back taxes to the IRS, and stay out of trouble during a six-month probationary period.

Federal prosecutors initially said he illegally used campaign money for personal expenses — charges that folowed news reports of lavish travel and a congressional office decorated in the style of the British TV drama Downton Abbey.

Patti Blagojevich, who has been campaigning for the release of her husband, was not pleased:

State Rep. David McSweeney, a Republican from Barrington Hills, announced he would not seek reelection next year. The conservative has repeatedly clashed with other Republicans, notably former Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, accusing both men of too-easily capitulating to Democrats on tax policy.

Independently wealthy, McSweeney may not be done with politics, saying he’s considering a run for secretary of state in 2022 — if popular incumbent Democrat Jesse White (actually) decides to retire.

Brian Mackey hosts with regular panelist Charlie Wheeler and guest Amanda Vinicky of Chicago Tonight, which airs on PBS station WTTW. (Sean Crawford is away.)

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
The former director of the Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) graduate program is Professor Charles N. Wheeler III, a veteran newsman who came to the University of Illinois at Springfield following a 24-year career at the Chicago Sun-Times.
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