Share the article: The Corruption Series: Meet Willie Cochran

CHICAGO — Welcome to another edition of Continuing Corruption, where we dig deep into the actions of politicians embroiled in controversies that erode public confidence. Today, we shift our focus to Illinois Democrat Willie Cochran, a former alderman whose troubling actions have left a stain on the state’s political landscape.

Before his corruption came to light, Willie Cochran was a prominent figure in Chicago politics and served as the alderman of the 20th Ward in Chicago, Illinois. The 20th Ward, in particular, has had a dismal track record, with Cochran becoming the third alderman in the last four to be indicted while in office.

So, what exactly did he do?

Cochran was charged in December 2016 with one count of felony wire fraud. The case revealed his involvement in stealing a staggering $14,000 from a charity he had created to support vulnerable children and seniors in his South Side ward. Instead of fulfilling the noble purpose of the charity, Cochran shamelessly misused the funds for personal gain, indulging in lavish dinners, splurging on Mercedes-Benz accessories, funding his daughter’s college education, and feeding a dangerous gambling habit.

Let me repeat that: he stole from a charity for children and elderly to fund a gambling habit.

Cochran resigned from his position as alderman of the 20th Ward in Chicago on March 1, 2019. His resignation came after he was re-elected to his position in February 2019 while facing the pending charges of wire fraud.

In June 2019, Cochran was sentenced to one year in prison on one count of felony wire fraud.

The Illinois Democratic Party’s persistent series of corruption scandals has cast a dark shadow on the state’s political landscape. Time and again, prominent figures within the party have faced allegations of unethical conduct, abuse of power, and misuse of public funds. From former aldermen and city officials to high-ranking state politicians, the list of individuals embroiled in controversies seems unending. These scandals not only erode public trust in the party but also undermine faith in the state’s governance. It’s a troubling pattern that demands a thorough examination of the party’s internal mechanisms and a renewed commitment to transparency, accountability, and ethical leadership.

But of course, we’ll see you back next week when we discuss yet another member of the Illinois Democrat Party who abused their power as an elected official at the expense of the public they were supposed to serve.


Join The Fight To Help Rebuild Illinois

Follow us online