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Man Charged With Impersonating Alderman In Scheme To Raise Money

Lee Swan

Lee Swan is charged with impersonating Ald. Michael Chandler (24th) in a money-raising scheme. (Credit: Chicago Police)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A West Garfield Park neighborhood man apparently believed he looked enough like an alderman – or that enough people had no clue what the alderman in question looked like – to go around impersonating the city lawmaker.

But a church pastor called police and had the man arrested, as it turned out the pastor knew the real Ald. Michael Chandler (24th), and wasn’t about to confuse him with Lee Swan, 52, of the 2900 block of West Adams Street.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Felicia Middlebrooks reports

The pastor called police after a man claiming to be Chandler asked him to purchase tickets for a play at the Goodman Theatre, where he would be holding a political fundraiser, police said.

Police waited at the church for the man to show up with another man, who allegedly claimed to be an aide to the alderman.

The men were arrested after they allegedly tried selling what turned out to be ticket stubs with information on how students can get discounts at the theater, police said. He was also found to have a bag of heroin on him.

Swan was charged with one felony count of drug possession and a misdemeanor count of falsely impersonating a public employee, police said. The other man was released without charges.

Swan has previously been convicted three times for felony drug possession and was on parole for the latest conviction, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

He was scheduled to appear in bond court later Tuesday.

Police could not immediately say how much money the two men allegedly tried taking from the church. The phony tickets were allegedly being sold for $10 each, but it was not clear if any stubs were sold.