Former Alderman Pleads Guilty In Third Corruption Case
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CHICAGO (STMW) – Former Chicago Ald. Ambrosio Medrano pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud, and prosecutors want to send him to prison for about 20 years.
Medrano secured his place in Chicago’s political hall of shame last June when he became the first current or former alderman convicted in two separate, prior corruption cases.
Medrano is expected to ask to be sentenced to 21 to 27 months in prison in this latest case.
“You and the government have a dramatically different view,” U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman said at the court hearing.
This time, federal prosecutors accused Medrano of taking bribes and kickbacks to sell bandages to public hospitals including Stroger Hospital.
Former Cook County Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno was also caught up in the scheme and pleaded guilty in July to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion.
When they were charged, federal prosecutors said Moreno and Medrano agreed to receive kickbacks for using their influence as county officials to cause Stroger Hospital to buy bandages under the brand name “Dermafill” from their co-defendants, Stanley Wozniak and Gerald Lombardi.
The scheme started in 2010 while Moreno was still a county commissioner.
Medrano was convicted this year by a federal jury for conspiring to dish out bribes to snare a lucrative Los Angeles County medical contract in a year-long scheme starting in 2011.
All of this came after Medrano did a stretch in federal prison starting in 1996 for taking bribes while a Chicago alderman.
A Chicago Sun-Times investigation this month found the Town of Cicero hired a company owned by Medrano to run local festivals in 2009. Cicero was supposed to get 25 percent of the liquor sales from the festivals, but the town could not produce a single document showing it ever got a penny.
Nobody has been accused of wrongdoing in the Cicero deal, and the town canceled the contract the day Medrano was arrested for the health-care scams. Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed Cicero records in connection with Medrano’s company.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)