The federal government indicted John T. Coli Sr., the man who has led Teamsters Joint Council 25 for more than 15 years and has been a major player in city and state politics, for trying to extort $100,000 from Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, which got millions of dollars in state grants, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Coli was a powerful backer of Rahm Emanuel in the 2011 mayoral election, holds a state labor board post under Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and was a key supporter of Rauner’s predecessor, Democrat Pat Quinn. The daily speculated that there are rumors Coli will retire from the union, although the allegations will stick that he forced Cinespace to pay him $25,000 in cash quarterly. He faces one count of attempted extortion and five counts of demanding and accepting a prohibited payment as a union official.
The most serious charge, the attempted extortion, carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.