Bill to ban slaughter of horses fails in House
Graphic footage of horses being butchered and a personal appeal from actress Bo Derek were not enough to persuade Illinois lawmakers on Friday to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
The measure was aimed at keeping the Cavel International Inc. slaughterhouse in DeKalb -- one of only three U.S. slaughterhouses to kill horses for human consumption -- from reopening this spring, more than two years after the building was destroyed by fire. Belgium-based Cavel exports the horse meat to Europe.
The proposed ban failed in the House on a 51-60 vote.
"I have never seen anything slap Illinois agriculture in the face more than this bill does," said Republican Rep. Jim Sacia, who argued it would be wrong to bar the slaughter of any livestock, no matter how unpleasant it looked on tape.
Former labor leader convicted of conspiracy
Former state Labor Commissioner James McGowan was convicted Friday of using his office to funnel state money to a friend in exchange for cash and the promise of a job.
The gregarious, gray-haired McGowan, 66, reddened as the verdict was read in a federal courtroom.
"It's not myself I'm worried about," he said outside court. "It's my family."
The maximum prison term is 30 years, but federal sentencing guidelines are likely to result in a much shorter term. Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 9.
McGowan's friend and co-defendant, John Segreti, 43, of Colts Neck, N.J., was convicted, like McGowan, of bribery, mail fraud and mail fraud conspiracy. McGowan was also convicted of filing false tax returns for 1998 and 1999. He was acquitted of other tax charges and of lying on a mortgage application.