* 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 - Wow…
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.