Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - President Cullerton responds; Sen. Cullerton’s attorney responds *** Sen. Tom Cullerton indicted
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*** UPDATED x2 - President Cullerton responds; Sen. Cullerton’s attorney responds *** Sen. Tom Cullerton indicted

Friday, Aug 2, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Click here to read the indictment

I just saw Cullerton the other day. He didn’t appear to have a care in the world. Either he’s a great actor or he didn’t see this one coming.

…Adding… To be clear, I saw Cullerton on Monday at the Illinois vs. Missouri softball game. On Tuesday, the feds announced that Coli was cooperating with them. He might have had a different demeanor that day.

* From the press release

According to the indictment, Cullerton was a member of Teamsters Local Union 734 prior to assuming office as an Illinois State Senator. After his election in November 2012, Cullerton was no longer an eligible participant in Local 734’s health and pension funds. In March 2013, while Cullerton was serving in the Illinois Senate, the president of Teamsters Joint Council 25 hired him as a purported union organizer. The full-time, salaried position included benefits from Local 734’s health and pension funds, due to an agreement Joint Council 25 entered into with Local 734 that same month, the indictment states.

The charges allege that for the next three years Cullerton did little or no work as an organizer. When Joint Council 25 supervisors requested that he perform his job duties, Cullerton routinely ignored them, the indictment states. From March 2013 to February 2016, Cullerton fraudulently obtained from Joint Council 25 and its members approximately $188,320 in salary, bonuses, and cellphone and vehicle allowances, as well as approximately $64,068 in health and pension contributions, according to the indictment. Cullerton used the proceeds of the payments to pay personal expenses, such as his mortgage, utilities and groceries, the charges allege.

The indictment alleges that Cullerton also fraudulently obtained approximately $21,678 in reimbursed medical claims from Local 734’s Health and Welfare Fund. Cullerton submitted or caused to be submitted to medical providers information that made it appear he was a “route salesman” for Local 734, the indictment states. The false information concealed and covered up the fact that Cullerton was not eligible for participation in the fund since he was not regularly scheduled to work at least 30 hours per week for Local 734, Joint Council 25, or any other employer that participated in the fund, according to the indictment.

* If you read the indictment, it looks like Coli flipped on him

Individual A was the President of Teamsters Joint Council 25. […]

It was further part of the conspiracy that Individual A caused salary payments to be made by Teamsters Joint Council 25 to CULLERTON, even though Individual A well knew that CULLERTON was doing little or no work for Teamsters Joint Council 25 during each pay period he was paid full-time salary as an organizer.

* Keep an eye on the live coverage post for more, but these place-holder stories will likely be updated soon…

* Sun-Times: State Sen. Thomas Cullerton charged with getting paid by Teamsters while doing little to no work

* Tribune: State Sen. Thomas Cullerton indicted on charges he pocketed $250,000 from union for little or no work

* Crain’s: Illinois State Sen. Tom Cullerton indicted

* NBC 5: State Sen. Tom Cullerton Indicted on Embezzlement Charges

* WBEZ: Illinois State Sen. Thomas Cullerton Charged In Teamsters ‘Scheme’

*** UPDATE *** John Theis, Attorney for Tom Cullerton…

As an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army and highly respected public servant, Tom Cullerton is a person who is dedicated to his family, constituents, and all Illinoisans. The action by the U.S. Department of Justice has nothing to do with Mr. Cullerton’s work in the Illinois State Senate but is the result of false claims by disgraced Teamsters boss John Coli in an apparent attempt to avoid penalties for his wrongdoing.

These allegations are simply not true, and we will be defending the charges in court.

It’s a federal crime to claim you worked for a union on your union time sheets when you didn’t perform such work. So, this can be a pretty simple matter of comparing his union time sheets to his Springfield session days and his campaign work.

…Adding… Also, Cullerton’s attorney is married to Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis. Small town.

* Hmm…

*** UPDATE 2 *** From Senate President John Cullerton’s spokesman John Patterson…

This is clearly part of an ongoing investigation. The Senate President reminds everyone we have a system of justice that presumes everyone innocent until proven otherwise.


  1. - @misterjayem - Monday, Aug 12, 19 @ 7:55 am:

    To aspiring politicians I offer the following advice: You can be crooked or you can be a jerk, but you can’t be both.

    – MrJM

  2. - Honeybear - Monday, Aug 12, 19 @ 9:21 am:

    What is it with the Teamsters?
    Loving God
    First Coli
    Now this.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 12, 19 @ 9:36 am:

    That @StatehouseChick, worries about the Teamsters’… pensions.

    She is so focused on her own caricature she twists anything to seem knowledgeable to a thought she wants as a narrative.

    I feel sorry for her.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 12, 19 @ 9:43 am:

    We are all innocent until proven guilty.

    This trial could be a paperwork trial, it seems, while the heat and sizzle begins with a disgraced union leader flipping, but that flipping will have time sheets, calendars, etc.

    As a sidebar, but I feel an incredibly important one;

    Our favorite radio host took time to retweet Pat Brady’s picture and tweet about Sen. Cullerton, making it about the “Combine” and “corruption” and playing off this premise of a bad friendship rooted in a corruptive system.

    Sometimes, people can be friends, regardless of party, and sometimes our friends get into trouble, and sometimes bipartisanship is bigger than voting the same way on a single issue.

    Our radio host friend wants division, as grifters know hating one side, or a “combine” or “anyone not like us” means big dollars, and it has nothing to do with better governing.

    I feel sorry for Dan too.

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