Tina Sfondeles

Chief Political Reporter

Tina Sfondeles is the chief political reporter, covering all levels of government and politics with a special focus on the Illinois General Assembly, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration and statewide and federal elections. Sfondeles spent much of the pandemic in Washington, D.C. — covering the White House and co-authoring the West Wing Playbook for Politico. She also covered the White House and Democratic politics and policy as a politics correspondent for Insider. Sfondeles joined the Sun-Times in 2007, covering politics, transportation, crime and sports — and returned to the newspaper in 2022.

The feds’ key witness, former ComEd Vice President Fidel Marquez, spent hours testifying Tuesday about how he and other ComEd executives fielded constant requests to find jobs for people he said were pushed for employment by Madigan, even when evaluations found their qualifications lacking.
Fidel Marquez took the stand at the ComEd bribery trial as prosecutors presented FBI recordings and internal ComEd documents showing hundreds of thousands of dollars went to alleged ghost payrollers of the utility.
The middle child in a family of 10 children, Johnson grew up in a three-bedroom Elgin home with parents who were pastors and also foster parents. After his mother died, Johnson helped to carry the ministry forward. “This is really a faith walk,” he says of his run for mayor.
Despite following very different paths, both now have their sights trained on Chicago’s City Hall.
Will Cousineau took the witness stand after securing letters from the feds granting him immunity and making clear he’s not a target of an investigation. Then he listened as prosecutors played a December 2018 call he’d participated in and which was secretly recorded by the FBI.
“I understand we have a lot of people walking around trying to find things to complain about,” Madigan is heard saying at the meeting. “Every once in a while, the speaker gets to do what he wants to do.”
Four former political power players are charged in a scheme to bribe Michael Madigan when he was Illinois’ powerful House speaker by arranging for jobs, contracts and money for Madigan’s allies.
ComEd’s former general counsel said he was told to sign the law firm of political operative Victor Reyes to an unusual three-year contract guaranteeing Reyes’ firm 850 hours of legal work a year.
For the first time Thursday, jurors in the bribery trial of Michael McClain and three other political power players heard Madigan’s voice on secret recordings.