* Background is here if you need it. Tribune…
Amid a slew of late-night actions in his final hours at the White House, President Donald Trump pardoned Casey Urlacher, a suburban mayor and the brother of Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher.
Casey Urlacher, 41, faced federal charges alleging he acted as a recruiter and bagman for a sports gambling ring that raked in millions of dollars from hundreds of Chicago-area bettors. Urlacher, who is the mayor of the tiny Lake County suburb of Mettawa, pleaded not guilty to the charges last March.
A little more than a week after his brother was in a packed federal courtroom entering his not guilty plea, his famous brother paid a visit to Trump at the White House.
“This was a once in a lifetime experience!” Brian Urlacher posted on Instagram along with a photo of his Bears jersey laid out on the Resolute Desk in front of a smiling Trump. “Got to hang in the Oval Office with President Trump and my family. He could not have been any nicer or accommodating to all of us.”
* Urlacher finished second in a three-way Republican primary for state Senate behind Dan McConchie, who is now the Senate Republican Leader. I asked McConchie’s spokesperson for a comment on his constituent and former rival…
“I frankly don’t understand why President Trump would pardon someone who has yet to be convicted of a crime, except when it’s in the national interest,” said Illinois Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie. “Pardons should be done on the merits of the case, not based on a relationship with the President. This sort of practice undermines the public’s faith in our system. We’re supposed to be a nation of laws, not one based on people getting benefits just because of who they know.”