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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, March 22, 2017.
An analysis of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's e-mails by the Chicago Tribune found that his personal accounts "served as a private avenue of influence where executives and investors sought favorable action from City Hall raising questions about whether some of the messages crossed the line into lobbying and violated the city's ethics law," according to the paper. The Trib found 26 possible instances of people not registered as lobbyists asking for something from the mayor in private e-mails, from Airbnb officials "pushing back against City Hall home rental regulations and American Airlines executives asking for Emanuel's support in Washington for a corporate merger to United Airlines negotiating on expansions at O'Hare International Airport." Adam Collins, a spokesman for the mayor, brushed off the issue. "Like every other public official, people routinely ask the mayor questions, give him ideas and provide input all day, every day," Collins said. "Ministers and mentors, business owners big and small, parents and residents across the city do it by email, at events, on the train, at the grocery store and at just about every other place." [Tribune]
The Chicago Police Department is searching for a group of men who allegedly sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl and streamed it on Facebook Live, according to USA Today. One suspect is in custody, and police believe the attackers are minors who knew the victim, alderman Michael Scott Jr. told the Sun-Times. Law enforcement found the girl Tuesday, after she had been missing for a couple of days. The attack was drawn to the police's attention when the girl's mother approached Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson with screen shots of the assault Monday. "The superintendent was visibly upset when he saw the pictures of the girl and was dismayed when he learned that people were watching the incident live and no one called police," spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. [USA Today] [Sun-Times]
Alderman Tom Tunney knows that the Chicago Cubs organization is frustrated at the rules regarding the team's under-construction plaza outside of Wrigley Field. The city's plaza ordinance allows just 12 special events per year and team officials would like to eventually have events on the plaza every day, but Tunney has resisted any increase. "The Cubs are not too happy with me on odd days of the week—maybe on even days they're a little more hospitable," the alderman said during a recent community meeting hosted by the team. "But you're my constituents, and what I really want is to make sure your interests are represented." [DNAinfo Chicago]
The state is laying off 124 union nurses working at 12 prisons, according to the Associated Press. Governor Bruce Rauner's office notified the Illinois Nurses Association of the decision, which is effective June 15. The union rejected a tentative contract agreement last year, so Rauner is retaliating despite a shortage of nurses, accuses the association's executive director Alice Johnson. "It's an attempt to bully and intimidate the nurses, and it's not going to work," she told the AP. [Associated Press via WBEZ]
Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. answered some questions from the media Tuesday after a court hearing in his divorce from former alderman Sandi Jackson at the Daley Center. Legal bills from the divorce and their criminal cases have left the former couple $1.8 million in debt. The former congressman said that he would love to return to work in the future. "Something has to give . . . because it's impossible to pay two sets of lawyers in this city and and another set in Washington, D.C., and child support and mortgage," he told reporters. [Sun-Times]
Chance the Rapper told his Twitter followers to buy Lollapalooza tickets, and the tweet immediately sparked speculation that the Grammy Award-winning rapper will play the Grant Park festival. Fans will know soon because the lineup is set to be released Wednesday. [DNAinfo Chicago]