The brother of NFL great Brian Urlacher was among those pardoned by former President Trump on his last day in the White House.
Casey Urlacher, the mayor of Mettawa, Ill., faced federal charges over an allegedly illegal sports gambling operation. Casey Urlacher, 41, pleaded not guilty in March.
“Throughout his life, Mr. Urlacher has been committed to public service and has consistently given back to his community,” the White House said in a statement. “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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Mike Gillespie, Casey Urlacher’s attorney, said his client was “very thankful that out of all the thousands of petitions for pardon submitted to the president, that he read and appreciated all of the outstanding qualities and decency that Casey possesses and saw fit to grant him a pardon,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
Brian Urlacher, the legendary Chicago Bears linebacker, was a supporter of Trump. He posted for a picture with the then-president last year with his Bears jersey laid out on the resolute desk.
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“This was a once in a lifetime experience! Got to hang in the Oval Office with President Trump and my family. He could not have been any nicer or accommodating to all of us. Also thanks to Jeff and Nick for the amazing tour of the WH,” he captioned his Instagram photo.
The pardon was met with skepticism from local politicians. Dan McConchie, the Illinois Senate Republican Leader, was among them, according to the Daily Herald.
“I frankly don’t understand why President Donald Trump would pardon someone who has yet to be convicted of a crime, except when it’s in the national interest,” he said in a statement.
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“Pardons should be done on the merits of the case, not based on a relationship with the President. This sort of practice undermines the public’s faith in our system. We’re supposed to be a nation of laws, not one based on people getting benefits just because of who they know.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.