* Mark Brown…
A search warrant of [Sen. Martin Sandoval’s] Springfield office made public Friday shows federal investigators appear to be looking into at least 10 distinct alleged schemes involving the newly resigned chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.
Red-light cameras, video gambling, road contracts, family businesses, real estate developments and the state’s largest public utility are all caught up in some way in Sandoval’s suspected mischief.
Not to mention several local governments, a member of the tollway board, IDOT, a trucking company, a “Countryside cigar lounge” and a body shop…
Also named in the warrant were Sebastian Jachymiak and Technicraft Collision Repair Experts, a body shop in Justice. Jachymiak, who is one of the managers of the company, according to a filing with the Secretary of State’s office, did not return a call to Technicraft seeking comment.
Technicraft has contributed more than $100,000 to political candidates and organizations since 2007, including Getty, who received $12,900, according to state Board of Elections records. Technicraft has also contributed $14,525 to Tobolski and $3,600 to Sandoval.
The body shop’s website is here.
* Back to Brown…
For Sandoval, the most troubling name on the search warrant may be Monarca Inc. That’s a company listing his wife Marina as the president.
I don’t know what Mrs. Sandoval’s company does, or how it might be mixed up in this. This is the first we’d heard of it.
But I can tell you when politicians put their family members in harm’s way through their own monkey business, federal authorities have a pressure point that can result in submission faster than any mixed martial arts hold.
* Rick Heidner isn’t the only video gaming exec named in the search warrant…
Mentioned with Heidner is Joe Elias, who runs about a dozen video gambling parlors around the state, all carrying Heidner’s gambling machines. Elias could not be reached for comment.
* I told you about this last week…
There is also a reference in the warrant to specific legislation, House Bill 173.
A measure from 2017 with the same bill number would have outlawed red-light cameras. The legislation passed the House overwhelmingly, but stalled in the Senate, at one point showing up in the Sandoval-led Senate Transportation Committee.
The bill is here.
…Adding… More on the bill history…
It was sent to the Senate Executive Committee and relegated to a subcommittee chaired by state Sen. Antonio Munoz, D-Chicago, a long-time ally of Sandoval’s and fellow member of the Hispanic Democratic Organization.
The Senate sponsors, after seeing the bill put into a subcommittee and not voted on, tried to amend the bill into a study “evaluating automated traffic law enforcement systems in this (s)tate.”
After being sent back to the catch-all Assignments Committee, the bill then was sent to the Transportation Committee, which was chaired by Sandoval, on May 13, 2016.
On May 24, 2016, Sandoval directed the amended bill to the Subcommittee on Special Issues, which had no members.
* Daily Herald…
Just months after joining the Illinois tollway, Director Cesar Santoy resigned Friday after his name surfaced in an FBI investigation involving Sen. Martin Sandoval, the chairman of the state Senate Transportation Committee. […]
Santoy, an architect and Berwyn alderman, was appointed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker in February amid an ethics reform push at the agency. The previous board was ousted by the General Assembly in January following Daily Herald reports of nepotism and patronage involving contracts and hiring. […]
In addition, investigators sought items related to Behnke Materials Engineering and to Michael Vondra and his company Bluff City Materials. Both businesses are tollway subcontractors.
Tollway officials said the agency “has not received a subpoena for any records related to this investigation. We use a competitive bid process for construction contracts and bid results are reported on the tollway’s website as part of our commitment to transparency.”
* And, of course, there’s this…
As we’ve discussed before, “CW” is often fed-speak for “Cooperating Witness.” The redacted McCook search warrant listed a “CW1″ and a “CW2.”