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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, July 19, 2017.
Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been released from prison in Minnesota after 13 months behind bars. Hastert, 75, left the Rochester Federal Medical Center Monday but won't be officially released from the system until August 16. Officials haven't revealed his current location, but he "is likely at a halfway house in the region monitored by that office, or he is on home confinement," according to the Sun-Times. Hastert pleaded guilty to breaking federal banking laws by making payments to cover up his alleged sexual abuse of students during his time as a high school wrestling coach. [Sun-Times]
Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic opponent J.B. Pritzker, who are both billionaire businessmen, are raking in money for the heated 2018 gubernatorial campaign, according to second-quarter fund-raising disclosures. Pritzker donated $14 million to his own campaign and spent $9.3 million on TV ads. Rauner has $67.6 million in his main campaign fund, but his biggest donor so far has been fellow billionaire Ken Griffin, who donated $20 million during the second quarter. By comparison, Democratic candidate Chris Kennedy raised $703,767 during the second quarter and spent $652,524 of it, and Democratic state senator Daniel Biss raised more than $1 million. [Crain's Chicago Business]
At least 20 of Governor Bruce Rauner's staffers have been fired or have resigned over the past ten days, and the firing streak continued as his new "body man" was fired on his first day of work. Ben Tracy was hired as the governor's "body man"/assistant, which requires traveling everywhere with the governor, after Rauner interviewed him Friday. Tracy traveled with Rauner to Mount Zion Monday, but lost the job by midafternoon after other Rauner staffers discovered homophobic and "racially insensitive" tweets he'd issued in the past, according to the Sun-Times. [Sun-Times]
Cook County judge Domenica Stephenson has been assigned to preside over the case of three Chicago police officers charged with covering up the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald. Stephenson is replacing controversial Cook County judge Diane Gordon Cannon on the case. [DNAinfo Chicago]
Governor Bruce Rauner might be facing a challenger in the 2018 Republican primer: state senator Sam McCann. "I am considering it," the Jacksonville-based legislator told NBC Chicago Tuesday. "I have not made a decision." McCann might run as a pro-Trump and pro-union Republican, according to NBC. Rauner spent between $4 and $5 million running a primary challenger against McCann in 2016. [NBC Chicago]
The Paramount Room is closing after ten years in River West. The restaurant, which won a Michelin Bib Gourmand award, will close its doors September 30. [Eater Chicago]