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This just in… *** Important updates in “red” - Donnie Snyder indicted ***

Thursday, Jul 19, 2007

* 1:40 pm - Well, this e-mail from US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s press secretary is sure intriguing [emphasis added]…

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR PLANNING PURPOSES: Please find attached the first of several federal grand jury indictments and accompanying press releases, each involving separate, unrelated public corruption investigations, that are expected to be issued by this office today. The other cases will be released later this afternoon (time uncertain, so please do not call to ask when), and they will be the subject of a single press conference tomorrow morning. Details about that will accompany the later releases. There will be no broadcast media availability on any of these matters until the press conference tomorrow. There are no court appearances today or tomorrow in connection with any of these matters. Thank you very much, Randall Samborn

The first indictment is of Aidan E. Monahan. You can find out some background here, or download the indictment here.

Please, no speculation in comments about who might be next. Since there is no press conference today, they may not even be bigwigs. Besides, you wouldn’t want to be banned, would you?

* 1:53 pm - Several union leaders have released a letter to Gov. Blagojevich asking him to support electronic gaming at horse racing tracks. View the letter here. The signatories include Tom Balanoff, the SEIU president and staunch Blagojevich ally. The governor had called the leaders into a meeting today, but no word yet on how this letter was orchestrated (the governor’s former chief of staff is now lobbying for the tracks).

* 2:47 pm - There will be no leaders meeting today. Also, rumors abound that there won’t be any session days this weekend. Most likely, there won’t be a Sunday, but Saturday is still up for debate.

And, yes, I’m still waiting around for those aforementioned indictments. Being pinned down in the office is a bummer, but not as big a bummer as it’s gonna be for whoever takes it in the throat today.

* 3:20 pm -
Deanese Williams-Harris updates us on the mass transit funding situation.

* 3:23 pm
- I posted on this before, but it was late on a Friday, so you may not have noticed. We have a new t-shirt and mousepad design over at our charity project store. Go check it out. All proceeds benefit Sojourn House.

* 4:26 pm -
It’s not online yet, but I’m told that the Illinois Supreme Court has just ruled against Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s attempt to represent the governor’s office in its fight to block FOIA disclosure of federal subpoenas. Some background on the case is here.

* 4:38 pm -
And as if on cue [UPDATE: AG Madigan’s office strongly denies the snarky implication that the new SG hiring was in any way related to the office’s win/loss record or the above case in particular]…

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that she has appointed Michael A. Scodro as Solicitor General in the Office of the Attorney General. He will succeed Gary S. Feinerman who has served as Solicitor General since May 2003.

* 5:19 pm -

A former Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), who allegedly received approximately $50,000 in illegal kickbacks, and two lobbyists accused of paying him the kickbacks while representing vendors that had multi-million-dollar contracts with the state prison agency, were indicted today on federal charges. The defendants, Donald N. Snyder, Jr., who was IDOC director from 1999 until early 2003, and lobbyists John J. Robinson, a former Undersheriff of Cook County, and Larry E. Sims were charged in a six-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. […]

Regarding the payments by Sims to Snyder, the indictment alleges that in late 1999 or early 2000, Snyder and Sims discussed the compensation that Sims received from Vendor B, and Sims agreed to pay Snyder a portion of the monthly fee that Sims received from that client. Beginning in early 2000 and continuing until approximately the end of 2002, Sims gave cash to Snyder each month, totaling approximately $30,000, after Sims received his monthly fee from Vendor B.

Regarding the payments by Robinson to Snyder, the indictment alleges that in late 1999 or early 2000, Snyder agreed to accept cash derived from the consulting or lobbying fees that Robinson earned from their representation of one or more vendors doing business with IDOC. From early 2000 until December 2002, Robinson allegedly paid kickbacks to Snyder totaling approximately $20,000, which amounted to about one-fourth of the monthly fees that Robinson’s company, JPN, received from Vendor A. Robinson paid Snyder periodically when they met at various corrections-related meetings or events, the indictment alleges.

The indictment is here

* 5:26 pm -
We’ve also got a superseding indictment in the Vrdolyak case. Download it here.

* 5:31 pm - And another one…

The former chief and six other former and current officers and employees of the Melrose Park Police Department operated the department as an illegal racketeering enterprise for at least a decade between 1996 and 2006, according to a federal grand jury indictment returned today, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. The indictment alleges that the former chief, Vito R. Scavo, and other defendants defrauded west suburban Melrose Park and its citizens by using police department personnel and property to operate several private security guard companies and provide personal services to Scavo; extorted village businesses into using security guard services provided by companies that Scavo and others controlled; and that Scavo committed individual and corporate tax fraud and improperly compensated police department employees who performed personal chores for him with compensatory time off that they had not earned. Scavo, who was village police chief from 1995 until he resigned in September 2006, was charged with racketeering conspiracy along with Deputy Police Chief Gary Montino and Michael “Mickey” Caliendo, former civilian supervisor of part-time police officers.

As part of the alleged conspiracy, Scavo and two other defendants, Guy Ric Cervone, a former police lieutenant recently promoted to commander, and German Cepeda, a former police department janitor and current code enforcement inspector for the village, allegedly obstructed a grand jury investigation of their conduct and tampered with potential grand jury witnesses.

That indictment is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - This Guy - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 2:04 pm:

    Speaking of investigations, anyone know the status of the DeFraties-Casey issue? (sorry to be off topic)

  2. - PUBLIC CORRUPTION OFFICER - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 2:07 pm:

    Well looks like the U.S Attorneys for Central and Northern Illinois are stepping out this week on public corruption.

    Off the subject, how did the Governor find time to call a former nurse from the County to offer her a job and the state still doesn’t have a budget yet for FY 2008. Talking about priorities. He should have let Shiela make that phone call.

  3. - Rebel13 - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 2:08 pm:

    WOW!!! Some people are not going to have a good night’s rest!

  4. - keepin up with the jones - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 2:44 pm:

    Does the Jones family have in family members in the electronic gaming business?

  5. - The 'Broken Heart' of Rogers Park - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 3:02 pm:

    Seems to me, it’s been a while since this guys given a campaign contribution.

    Monahan, Aidan
    Bensenville, IL 60106
    Occupation: Owner
    Employer: Monahan’s Landscape Co. Inc.
    $1,500.00 - 4/9/2003 Individual Contribution - Richard M Daley Campaign
    Occupation: OWNER
    $1,500.00 3/19/2002-Individual Contribution - Citizens for Troutman

  6. - Truthful James - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 3:11 pm:

    Well, sorry, Rich, :-}, at least we know it is not Scooter Libby.

    But on the matter of electronic gaming at the horse tracks, I guess the next step would be at the track owned OTB parlors, The poor tavern owner does not have a chance.

    Quick and dirty thought. Let’s put OTB in the taverns and let the track owners duke it out wit’ da mob.

  7. - Crimefighter - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 3:12 pm:

    More small fry? Where’s the big fish???

  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 3:18 pm:

    They must be wanting to rush all their public corruption indictments out the door before pending 7th Circuit Opinions foreclose them under their wire fraud / mail fraud “breach of honest services” theory.

  9. - so-called "Austin Mayor" - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 3:31 pm:

    Fitzmas in July?

    Or just an elaborate stunt to promote his appearance tonight at the recording of NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me…”


    – SCAM

  10. - amy - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 3:32 pm:

    While Patrick is off to do the game show, many are
    yelling “wait, wait…. don’t indict me!”

  11. - Commonsense in Illinois - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 3:48 pm:

    Well, now we know its slow…Rich is hawking the clothing line. I do like the addition to the line, though.

  12. - Ghost - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 3:58 pm:

    Does the new clothing line consitute plane clothes?

  13. - Papa Legba - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:05 pm:

    Is it time to ground the state plane?

  14. - 1-877-U-TIP-OFF - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:14 pm:

    - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 3:18 pm:

    They must be wanting to rush all their public corruption indictments out the door before pending 7th Circuit Opinions foreclose them under their wire fraud / mail fraud “breach of honest services” theory.

    What do you mean anon, can you clarify?

  15. - 1-877-U-TIP-OFF - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:17 pm:

    Awe I get it GHR and RS’s pending appeals. Well you’re wrong. The 7th Circuit will deliver a blow to you if you believe that’s the direction their going in. By the way, what is taking so long for the court to release the opinions on these appeals?

  16. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:30 pm:

    1-877-U-TIP-OFF, you really shouldn’t tell somebody that they’re flat-out wrong and then ask why the appellate court is taking so long on the ruling. You may be right, but it is you who could be wrong. Let’s try to avoid know-it-all stuff when nobody but the justices know what’s really going on.

  17. - Huh? - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:35 pm:

    So what does this mean? Who’s this good for?
    Illinois Supreme Court has just ruled against Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s attempt to represent the governor’s office in its fight to block FOIA disclosure of federal subpoenas.

  18. - 1-877-U-TIP-OFF - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:36 pm:

    Rich, you’re right, but, I still think contrary. It’s not about knowing it all, it’s simply my opinion which is what everyone on here from time to time express.

  19. - cami - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:41 pm:

    It’s good for da Guv and lousy for the rest of us that will now have to pay yet another attorney for his chicanery.

  20. - 1-877-U-TIP-OFF - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:44 pm:

    Well wait till tomorrow and see if the subpoenas are still needed or will you have an actual indictment.

  21. - 1-877-U-TIP-OFF - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:49 pm:

    Oh Lord!!!!!!!!!!The man has quite a resume.

  22. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:54 pm:

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office (vindictively, or so it appeared) indicted Monahan’s girlfriend a few weeks ago for her claiming not to know his whereabouts in a recent interview with FBI agents. According to the DOJ press release he was arrested in San Diego.

    In Patrick Fitzgerald’s world you’re lying if he doesn’t believe you.

  23. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:56 pm:

    It’s not online yet, but I’m told that the Illinois Supreme Court has just ruled against Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s attempt to represent the governor’s office in its fight to block FOIA disclosure of federal subpoenas. Some background on the case is here.

    Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that she has appointed Michael A. Scodro as Solicitor General in the Office of the Attorney General. He will succeed Gary S. Feinerman who has served as Solicitor General since May 2003.

    Rich,how do the two relate?

  24. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:58 pm:

    Because she lost yet another case.

  25. - FED UP - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 5:01 pm:

    federal indictments always make me smile is blago in springfield or chicago tonight.

  26. - Northside Bunker - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 5:05 pm:

    Is this Aidan E. Monahan tied to Blagojevich in any way?

  27. - Connecting the dots - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 5:13 pm:

    Monahan and his company have given generously to politicians in the Chicagoland area: over $200K according to the State Board of Elections website, mostly between 1999 and 2003. He appears to have made no donations since 2005. The allegations in today’s indictment focus on activities from 2003-2006.

    Top recipients include:

    Democratic Party of Illinois - $108K (between ‘99-’02)
    Friends of Michael J Madigan - $27K (’99)
    Citizens for Lisa Madigan - $25K (’02)
    Statesman of the Year (IUOE Local 150) - $23,125 (’99-’05)
    33rd Ward RDO - $10.9K (’00-’02) (not including $200 to Citizens for Richard Mell in ‘99)
    Friends of [Chgo Ald.] Patrick J. Levar - $5.5K (’00-’02) (not including $750 to 45th Ward RDO in ‘99)
    Friends of Blagojevich - $5K (’02)
    Richard M Daley Campaign Committee - $1.5K (’03)
    Citizens for [Former Chgo Ald. Arenda] Troutman - $1.5K (’02)
    Citizens for [Former Cook Sheriff] Michael F. Sheahan - $250 (’01)

  28. - amy - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 5:14 pm:

    ah, so,:

    Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 4:54 pm:

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office (vindictively, or so it appeared) indicted Monahan’s girlfriend a few weeks ago for her claiming not to know his whereabouts in a recent interview with FBI agents. According to the DOJ press release he was arrested in San Diego. In Patrick Fitzgerald’s world you’re lying if he doesn’t believe you.

    You must prefer the Jon Stewart version of the
    game Patrick is playing tonight….
    “Wait, wait….don’t lie to me!”

  29. - southern man - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 5:59 pm:

    Donnie Snyder, former dictator of corrections is indicted. No big surprise……….

  30. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 6:25 pm:

    I believe Larry Sims used to sit on the state employee’s pension board of directors. Someone should look it up.

    And, if I was that nurse, I would politely decline state employment at this time. Who’d want to be laid off a week after they went to work?

  31. - Cal Skinner - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 6:28 pm:

    Perhaps the indictment provides a clue why prisoners have been complaining about health care, but I have to tell you that Don Snyder was the most responsive Corrections Director that I dealt with while serving on the Prison Reform Committee.

  32. - grntea07 - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 6:30 pm:

    It could also be the same Larry E. Sims who retired from the Illinois State Police. If so, he was the former President of the Trooper’s Lodge #41.

  33. - southern man - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 6:54 pm:

    Snyder may have been responsive in some circles, because he was a good politician. But he treated staff like dirt. The agency was run like the Gestapo with the warden’s being the SS. Now they have gone off the deep end on the left. No accountability and staff morale is poor. What is needed is a common sense middle of the road approach. The administration should recognize staff concerns but also hold them accountable. Why is that such a difficult concept?

  34. - Finally..... - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 7:39 pm:

    Wow! It is about time that Fitz come out west to Melrose Park. These illegal operations have been going on for decades and I hope that Mayor Serpico and his current cronies get indicted as well. Mr. Cepeda would extort monies from immigrants, his own people, who could barely afford to pay rent in the township.

  35. - 1whonos - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 7:40 pm:

    Cal- Give me a break. I worked in health care svcs at DOC and used to deal with you. The info you requested was disgusting and perverse and had very little to do with the quality of care inmates were receiving

  36. - 1whonos - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 7:58 pm:

    Rich- to get back on subject-isn’t this the same Londrigan that was on Blago’s legal counsel during the same period the feds are looking at? I know he was not there too long but seems like he was there at least part of 2003…kind of an odd choice…or maybe I am reading too much into too little….

  37. - Squideshi - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 8:22 pm:

    Let’s try to remember that all accused are innocent until proven guilty.

  38. - A Citizen - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 8:41 pm:

    - 1whonos -
    Is that Thos. Londrigan of Londrigan and Londrigan Law Firm in Springfield? If so, I believe they are still working for the gov. Quite politically connected.

  39. - 1whonos - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 8:52 pm:

    A Citizen -small world …I guess he resigned his official post and is currently on contract?…nothing against Mr Londrigan …I have heard very good things about him….I am not a lawyer (but would love to play one on tv :) It just seems to be somewhat of a conflict…perhaps it is not …the assumption that legal was consulted prior to personnel transactions is probably not the reality

  40. - A Citizen - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 9:03 pm:

    In the gov’s first year he had Mary Lee Leahy as the legal advisor on personnel issues. She, of course, was known to be politically a democrat but first she was honest and a lawyer with integrity. I believe her advice was solid and probably went counter to some of the actions the admin. contemplated - so she was “phased out”, so to speak. He was well served by Leahy. I guess Londrigan came after, must be giving advice more to their liking?

  41. - 1whonos - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 9:21 pm:

    A citizen - I am pretty sure (ok - more or less positive) he was there at the same time - maybe just not working on personnel issues - and yes she did give good advice…does not always mean that it was followed (obviously)…but it does not mean all were not aware (to some extent) what was going on…

  42. - Hmmm - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 9:24 pm:

    Have any of you stopped to think about why Susan Lichtenstein decided to leave so abruptly? And Z Scott?

  43. - A Citizen - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 9:28 pm:

    - 1whonos -
    The admin (gov) fought hard to keep Leahy from having to give a deposition, however, she eventually was authorized/ordered to do so. Are you aware of the content of that deposition - or has it been made known? I would think it would be very revealing of the early on actions of the admin from transition through at least part of the first year. That dep. would answer a lot of questions and suppositions - probably why the admin fought to keep her from having to do it.

  44. - 1whonos - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 10:00 pm:

    a citizen - don’t know the content of the depostition - and yes you are correct about the potential content of the depo- the first year was, in part, a learning curve for the new admin (gov) - but this does not excuse the actions nor explain why similar actions continue …sounds like we both “nos” some things :)

  45. - Legal Eagle - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 10:24 pm:

    It is the governor’s former legal counsel Tom Londrigan Jr’s father Tom Londrigan Sr. Two very good Springfield attornys.

  46. - 1whonos - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 10:57 pm:

    eagle- probably- and from what I have always heard would agree with your assesment of the individuals- just wondering what conflicts could exist - this is politics - good or bad - as I remember years ago someone saying “ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies” kinda sums up the business - it’s all shades of gray/grey (alas another example of becoming too dependent on spell checker-

  47. - Aurora Citizen - Thursday, Jul 19, 07 @ 11:18 pm:

    Leahy was only contracted to deal with some “hiring/firing” issues. I believe she even believes it was a mistake to have taken the contract to begin with. Tom might have been there, but in a different capacity than Mary Lee.

  48. - In the Sticks - Friday, Jul 20, 07 @ 12:19 am:

    I thought it was Deanne Benos running the show at DOC - although she just stayed in JRTC and did not visit any facilities. She was a Clinton staffer, according to the DOC website. DOC lost millions in federal money (VOI/TIS funds) because Benos wanted to spend it on programs instead of the new beds that it was supposed to fund.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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