CHICAGO (WLS) — Just hours before leaving office, President Donald Trump granted pardons or commutations to more than 140 people, among them is Casey Urlacher, his former chief strategist Steve Bannon and rapper Lil’ Wayne.
Urlacher is the brother of Chicago Bears great Brian Urlacher. He is also the mayor of Mettawa, Illinois.
The unpaid mayor of Mettawa had been charged with conspiracy to engage in illegal gambling.
Authorities said he tracked down gambling debts, while helping run an illegal gambling operation. That indictment could have landed him in federal prison.
He was among 10 people charged with conspiring to illegally conduct a multi-million dollar sports gambling business based in the Chicago suburbs. The nine others accused include a Chicago police officer, Nicholas Stella.
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But late Tuesday, Trump granted Casey Urlacher a full pardon.
A statement from the White House said in part, “Mr. Urlacher has been committed to public service and has consistently given back to his community.”
The statement went on to say that his pardon is supported by his friends, family and members of his community.
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In addition to being mayor Mettawa, which has a population of about 550 people, Casey Urlacher unsuccessfully ran for state senate a few years ago.
“He wasn’t at the top of the pyramid here, but he was very much important, it seems, in the operation of the enterprise, as charged in this indictment,” ABC7 Legal Analyst Gil Soffer said at the time. “There’s a lot of money trading hands. It is, in some ways, an old time gambling operation but using the internet.”
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Casey Urlacher did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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