The mayor of a small Illinois town who had an illegal gambling charge chalked off by outgoing US President Donald Trump has won his campaign for reelection.
Casey Urlacher, the brother of former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, was one of 116 people pardoned by Trump in January 2021, including Steve Bannon and rapper Lil’ Wayne.
Urlacher has been mayor of Mettawa, a town in Lake County, Illinois since 2013, and he will be for four more years, as he defeated challenger Jess Ray by 151 to 105 votes last week.
“I’m very happy, but as I always say this credit goes to the village residents,” Urlacher told the Lake County News-Sun. “These residents really rallied for me. It was a team effort. There were a lot of people working behind the scenes. I’m honored to be elected for another four years. I plan on doing a great job for them.”
Urlacher was one of ten people charged in February 2020 with operating an illegal sports betting business that the feds said won millions of dollars from Chicago-area gamblers.
According to the indictment, the mayor was an agent in a price-per-head bookmaking scheme run by Vincent “Uncle Mick” Del Giudice.
As an agent, it was allegedly Urlacher’s role to recruit gamblers and solicit bets for the operation in return for a cut of their eventual losses.
According to the indictment, in one such instance Urlacher arranged with Del Giudice with to establish an online account for an unnamed bettor who was given a bet limit of $500 per day and a weekly limit of $3,000.
Among the other agents indicted was Nicholas Stella, a former Chicago police officer, who also faces domestic battery charges.
In February, Del Giudice pleaded guilty to conducting an illegal gambling business and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
If found guilty, Urlacher would have faced up to five years for conspiracy to conduct an illegal gambling business, a charge to which he pleaded not guilty in March 2020.
It’s not clear why Trump pardoned Urlacher or exactly who interceded on his behalf.
At the time, a statement from the White House said:
This pardon is supported by his friends and family, and countless members of his community. Mr. Urlacher has been charged with conspiracy to engage in illegal gambling. Throughout his life, Mr. Urlacher has been committed to public service and has consistently given back to his community. Currently, Mr. Urlacher serves as the unpaid Mayor of Mettawa, Illinois. He is a devoted husband to his wife and a loving father to his 17-month old daughter.
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