A long-time top aide to former Gov. George Ryan has pleaded innocent Friday to charges of bid-rigging in the multi-million-dollar expansion of Chicago's McCormick Place.
Forty-six-year-old Scott Fawell appeared in federal court Friday looking thinner after months in federal prison. He's already serving six-and-a-half years for using state workers and taxpayer dollars to wage Ryan's election campaigns.
Fawell now is charged with playing a key role in an alleged fraud that sent the contract for supervising the McCormick Place expansion to the firm of Jacobs Facilities Incorporated of St. Louis.
Federal prosecutors allege that the scheme enabled Jacobs to lower its bid from more than $18 million to $11.5 million to win the contract.