* We discussed yesterday how Speaker Madigan’s campaign committee spent over $445,000 on legal fees during the fourth quarter. Here’s Paris Schutz at WTTW…
Madigan isn’t the only public official providing paychecks to Chicago-area attorneys. Campaign disclosures show that McCook Mayor and Democratic Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski paid $200,000 in legal fees in the last quarter; $100,000 went to the law firm of Blaine & Vanzant, and another $100,000 to Walsh, Fewkes & Sterba. Federal agents raided Tobolski’s home and the village headquarters of McCook on Sept. 26. Tobolski, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, has not commented about the federal probe. His campaign fund is not nearly as robust as Madigan’s: he raised $5,750 in the last quarter and has about $225,744 available.
On the same day Tobolski was targeted, federal agents sacked the home and offices of former state Sen. Martin Sandoval. Sandoval reported paying $90,000 in legal fees in the last quarter and stepped down from the General Assembly amid the federal probe.
Chicago Ald. Ed Burke, 14th Ward, paid nearly $400,000 in legal fees from his campaign account in the last quarter, according to state campaign disclosures. The payments went to high-profile attorneys at two white-collar defense firms – Jenner & Block and Loeb & Loeb, who are defending Burke in a 14-count federal indictment. Burke has nearly $12 million in campaign cash across multiple funds he controls.
Chicago Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th Ward, spent $40,000 in legal fees in the last quarter – paid to the law firm of Clark Hill. Austin reported raised only $700 in the last quarter and has around $30,000 available, according to state filings. Federal agents raided Austin’s ward office last June. Austin has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Former Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) reported reimbursing his spouse Maribel $10,000 on November 11th for legal fees that she paid “with personal funds.” Arroyo was arrested by the feds in late October and his indictment has been postponed until February 20th. He had close to $228K in his campaign account at the end of the year.
* Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) paid his attorney $25,000 in October out of his campaign fund. He was indicted last summer.
Sen. Cullerton reported having just $240.31 in the bank at the end of the fourth quarter. But he’s still raising money.
Cullerton reported receiving almost $10,000 last quarter from contributors including AFSCME Council 31, ComEd, Comcast and (are you ready?) the Illinois Policy PAC. That’s the campaign arm of the Illinois Policy Institute. It contributed $2,000.
…Adding… Cullerton returned the Illinois Policy PAC check. He apparently didn’t want to be associated with them.
…Adding… Matt Praprocki with Illinois Policy…
The check was cancelled, not returned.
Noted. This post is killing me.
…Adding… I just did something I’ve criticized others for doing and I’m upset at myself. I jumped to a conclusion by looking at contribution dates. As I’ve said many times before, the receive date is when the check is deposited. AFSCME tells me their contribution was actually made in June. Ugh! Sorry! I will listen to myself more often!