One witness at a time, feds turning up heat

Warner was on the McPier board. Fawell was the McPier executive boss.

Coutretsis--who was married with children when she began keeping Fawell company in hotel rooms charged to taxpayers, and when she allegedly tried to get her former husband to burn evidence--also worked at McPier.

The investigation of Mickey Segal, the boss of the political insurance firm, Near North Insurance, is also moving forward.

Meanwhile, the Tribune's John Chase broke the story this week that federal subpoenas have been issued in the office of Ryan's political ally Judy Baar Topinka, the state treasurer.

The feds are investigating whether her employees did political work for her on the taxpayers' time.

The FBI and federal prosecutors also have turned a key Outfit enforcer into a government witness. I told you about it months ago.

Nick Calabrese, a top tough guy, spent years in federal prison with his brother, Frank, and the still-imprisoned Outfit street boss Jimmy Marcello. Now, he's talking. And Calabrese's information is being compared with other informant testimony about Outfit alliances and murders.

"Back then, some guys were thinking it was a fishing expedition," said attorney Rick Halprin, who represents Joey "The Clown" Lombardo. "But they're not fishing now. They're getting ready."

In court Tuesday, Coutretsis hardly said anything, except for a few meek "I understands" and "not guilty."

But she's getting ready too.