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Sharon Dixon, Former Alderman, Busted With Loaded Gun, Prosecutors Say

By Erin Meyer | May 7, 2013 3:12pm
Sharon Dixon
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COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Former Ald. Sharon Dixon (24th) is facing a felony gun charge after allegedly carrying a loaded .357 Magnum into a police station over the weekend, according to court records.

Dixon, who lost her seat in the City Council in 2011, had walked in and out of the neighborhood police station at 3315 W. Ogden on Saturday, prosecutors said.

At one point, when she was outside, she pointed to a car and asked police officers, "Is this D's car?" prosecutors said.

That's when officers spotted a holstered gun on her side, prosecutors said. She was then taken into custody. The gun was loaded with seven bullets, prosecutors said.

The 50-year-old was released without charges Saturday pending a psychological evaluation, according to court records.

 Sharon Dixon in 2011.
Sharon Dixon in 2011.
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But she was then re-arrested at Mount Sinai Hospital and charged Monday.

She faces one count of unauthorized use of a weapon and one count of possessing a firearm without a license.

When Dixon appeared in court Tuesday for a bond hearing, a public defender representing her read through the ex-alderman's long history as a civic leader and activist in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood.

He said Dixon has been struggling with psychological issues.

Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered Dixon held on $25,000 bond.

Dixon has had brushes with the Chicago Police Department before — and even filed suit against officers in 2011, claiming she was falsely arrested for DUI in 2009 after watching President Barack Obama's inauguration.

Dixon has said she was with friends in Evanston that day and had a few glasses of wine. On her drive home, she encountered a Sheridan Road roadblock in Rogers Park. Firefighters had the street blocked as they fought a fatal fire, according to published reports.

She told officers she needed to get through and then got out of her car and into an argument with them. That's when she was arrested.

The first-term alderman was charged with DUI, but those charges were later dismissed.

She sued in 2011 during the middle of her re-election campaign, claiming the arrest — and being paraded in front of the media — ruined her reputation.

"All that I had worked for and accomplished during 47 years of working and striving was shattered and ruined in an instant," Dixon said during a 2011 press conference announcing the lawsuit.

"I'm a person who has worked hard against great odds. A person who has played by the rules. A person who has asked to have nothing more than to have a level playing field. But none of that mattered or made a difference on the morning of Jan. 21, 2009."

Several months after that news conference, she lost her re-election bid to Michael Chandler, who now represents the West Side ward.