…Adding… The plea agreement is here.
A onetime labor leader with ties to several prominent Illinois politicians is set to plead guilty in federal court Tuesday in a lesser-known extortion case that still threatens to reach deep into the state’s halls of power.
A federal grand jury accused Teamsters leader John T. Coli in 2017 of extorting $325,000 from Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, the clout-heavy studio that is home to such hit TV shows as “Chicago Fire” and “Empire.”
The case has quietly simmered in the background for the last few years. Since then, the Chicago Sun-Times revealed that the case against Coli was built with the help of Cinespace President Alexander S. “Alex” Pissios, who wore a wire against Coli.
Pissios told authorities that Coli had introduced him to Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel, as well as Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton. They all received campaign contributions from organizations under Coli’s control.
* And then a bombshell was dropped today…