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Vrdolyak Released From Home Confinement Early

Ed Vrdolyak

Former Ald. Ed Vrdolyak (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Former alderman and political powerbroker Edward Vrdolyak is completely free, after being released from home imprisonment three months ahead of time.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly ruled Wednesday that Vrdolyak could end his home imprisonment three months early. The judge says instead Vrdolyak must do 300 hours of community service.

Vrdolyak was to serve five months of home confinement.

Vrdolyak, 74, completed a 10-month sentence at the federal prison camp in Terre Haute, Ind., and was released in November of last year.

The powerbroker known as “Fast Eddie” was originally sentenced to probation by U.S. District Judge Milton I. Shadur for a $1.5 million kickback scheme. But last year, Vrdolyak was resentenced to 10 months in prison by Judge Matthew Kennelly after prosecutors appealed the original sentence and an appeals panel agreed.

He was also fined $260,000.

Vrdolyak pleaded guilty to mail fraud in 2008. He admitted to scheming with businessman and convicted scam artist Stuart Levine to split a $1.5 million payoff to arrange the sale of a Gold Coast building belonging to Smithfield Properties, eliminating other bidders. The building had belonged to the former Chicago Medical School.

Vrdolyak represented the Far Southeast Side’s 10th Ward in the City Council from 1971 to 1986, and gained the “Fast Eddie” moniker because of his ability to hammer out back-room deals.

Vrdolyak also served the chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. He led the bloc of 29 aldermen who battled the late Mayor Harold Washington during the “Council Wars” era in the 1980s.

Vrdolyak later switched parties and ran for mayor unsuccessfully as a Republican. He was also a key adviser to former Cicero Town President Betty Loren-Maltese, who was convicted in a scheme to loot the western suburb’s treasury.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)