CHICAGO (CBS)–Chicago is no stranger to corruption. More than 30 Chicago City Council members have been tied to corruption cases since the 1970’s, with Ald. Edward Burke (14th) becoming the latest Chicago politician to make headlines after being charged with one count of attempted extortion on Thursday, Jan. 3 for allegedly trying to use his power on the City Council to solicit business for his private law firm.
The charge against Burke, Chicago’s most powerful and longest-running City Council member, comes on the heels of two FBI raids carried out in his offices late last year.
After serving the city’s Southwest Side for 50 years, the charge puts Burke on the ever-growing list of disgraced city officials.
Set to go to trial June 3, Cochran is facing a 15-count indictment that accuses him of wire fraud, bribery, and extortion. He pleaded not-guilty in 2016, but a plea deal fell through.
Federal prosecutors have accused him of demanding $1,500 from an attorney for a real estate developer seeking to fix up vacant homes in his ward, and a $3,000 cash bribe from a liquor store owner seeking to sell his business to someone who needed a city liquor license. The feds also accused Cochran of using $5,000 from a charity he ran to pay for his daughter’s college tuition, and another $25,000 on casino gambling.
Jesse Jackson Jr.’s wife is alleged to be involved in most of her husband/s illicit spending. Prosecutors claim she hid about $600,000 in taxable income. She pleaded guilty to filing false income tax returns. Jackson was released from a minimum-security federal prison camp in West Virginia in 2016 after serving nearly 11 months of a one-year sentence.
A Federal jury in 2013 found William Beavers guilty of tax evasion, but the defiant Cook County commissioner continued to insist he was targeted by the government.
Isaac “Ike” Carothers (29th Ward): Pleaded guilty in 2010
Almost three decades after his father was convicted, Carothers pleaded guilty to bribery and tax charges in a zoning case, according to published reports.
In 2009, former Ald. Edward Vrdolyak (10th) was sentenced to five years’ probation and a $50,000 fine for his role in a crooked 2003 real estate scheme with a board member of the Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine and Science. Vrdolyak admitted to working with board member Stuart Levine on an agreement to split a $1.5 million finder’s fee for the $15 million sale of the school’s Gold Coast building to Smithfield Properties. Vrdolyak never collected on the finder’s fee, which was to be paid after the property was redeveloped. Vrdolyak struck the deal with former Chicago alderman and mayoral candidate William Singer Smithfield’s lobbyist, who was never charged in the case.
Arenda Troutman (20th Ward): Pleaded guilty in 2008
Admitted to soliciting donations from developers. She was convicted on bribery charges and was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison.
James Laski (23rd Ward): Pleaded guilty in 2006
A former City Clerk, Laski pleaded guilty to taking nearly $50,000 in bribes to give city business to trucking companies run by his acquaintances. Published reports say he was also involved in ghost payrolling while serving as an alderman in the early 1990’s.
Percy Giles (37th Ward): Convicted in 1999
Giles allegedly pocketed $10,000 in bribes from an undercover government agent and extorting another $81,200, according to published reports.
Virgil Jones (15th Ward): Convicted in 1998
Jones allegedly accepted two payoffs totaling $7,000, according to published reports.
Lawrence Bloom (5th Ward): Pleaded guilty in 1998
Bloom was accused of filing a false income tax return and taking $14,000 from an undercover FBI agent working for Operation Silver Shovel. He was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay a $5,000.
John Madrzyk (13th Ward): Convicted in 1998
Madrzyk pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and was sentenced to prison for allegedly pocketing thousands of dollars in kickbacks.
Jesse Evans (21st Ward): Sentenced in 1997
Published reports say Evans allegedly accepted cash payoffs from an undercover FBI agent. He was convicted on 15 counts of racketeering, extortion and other charges, including accepting bribes to send city sweepers to work at a construction site and allowing a grocer seeking a liquor license to install a new tile floor in his basement.
Joseph Martinez (31st Ward): Convicted in 1997
Martinez was convicted of accepting pay for three City Hall jobs that didn’t exist, according to news reports.
Allan Streeter (17th Ward): Pleaded guilty in 1996
The second alderman to be charged in the 1990’s Operation Silver Shovel investigation, Streeter pleaded guilty to accepting $37,020 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent.
Ambrosio Medrano (25th Ward): Pleaded guilty in 1996
The thrice-convicted alderman served time in federal prison, with his first stint in 1996 after he pleaded guilty to accepting $31,000 in bribes from a government agent in Operation Silver Shovel. After prison, he tried to run for office again before discovering the state law prohibiting convicted felons from holding public office. He went back to prison in 2014 to serve time for convictions tied to accepting bribes for government contracts while he was serving as an aide to the Cook County Commissioner.
Fred Roti (1st Ward): Convicted in 1993
Roti was convicted for accepting $10,000 to influence a court case and $7,500 to facilitate a zoning ward change, according to published reports.
Marian Humes (1989): Pleaded guilty in 1989:
Humes pleaded guilty to taking bribes.
Perry Hutchinson (9th Ward): Convicted in 1988
Hutchinson pleaded guilty to his role in an insurance-fraud scheme. The next year he pleaded guilty to accepting $42,200 from an undercover FBI agent, according to news reports.
Chester Kuta (31st Ward): Pleaded guilty in 1987
Kuta was one of 11 people indicted on federal charges in connection with a bribery scheme connected to business licensing and code enforcement. He was charged with involvement in a scheme to accept payoffs from flea market operators on the West Side, according to published reports.
Davis, Jr. allegedly accepted a $5,000 bribe and extorted kickbacks, according to news reports. In 2013, he was sentenced to 30 months probation and ordered to pay over $100,000 in child support after he admitted he was deadbeat dad to his two young daughters.
Clifford Kelley (20th Ward): Pleaded guilty in 1987
Kelley served time for his involvement in Operation Incubator, a federal investigation into City Hall corruption. He was one of seven men indicted by a federal grand jury on charges alleging involvement in the corrupt handling of City Hall bill collection contracts, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Louis Farina (36th Ward): Convicted in 1983
Farina was convicted of his involvement in a conspiracy to extort $7,000 from contractors in exchange for city contracts, according to published reports.
Tyrone Kenner (3rd Ward): Convicted in 1983
Kenner served 12 years as alderman before he was convicted of taking more than $15,000 in bribes in exchange for helping at least 12 people get hired as sheriff’s deputies or pass tests to become city electricians, according to news reports. He died in 2009.
William Carothers (28th Ward): Convicted in 1983
Carothers went to prison for three years for extorting remodeling work for his ward office from a contractor seeking a permit to work on an expansion at Bethany Hospital. His son Isaac Carothers later pleaded guilty to bribery and tax charges in a zoning case, according to published reports.
Stanley Zydlo (26th Ward): Pleaded guilty in 1980
Zydlo pleaded guilty to altering test results to help two relatives get fired by the Chicago Fire Department. He died in 1989.
Edward Scholl (41st Ward): Pleaded guilty in 1975
Scholl allegedly took bribes from a contractor who wanted zoning changes in his ward, according to published reports. He served six months in prison. Scholl died in 2003.
Donald Swinarski (12th Ward): Pleaded guilty in 1975
Swinarski allegedly accepted bribes in exchange for facilitating zoning changes in his ward. He died in 2006.
Paul Wigoda (49th Ward): Convicted in 1974
Wigoda allegedly took a $50,000 bribe for supporting a zoning change that favored an acquaintance. He died in 2006.
Thomas Keane (31st Ward): Convicted in 1974
Keane led the Chicago City Council Finance Committee for decades before his federal conviction on mail-fraud and conspiracy charges. He was convicted for his involvement in a scheme to profit from tax-delinquent property. He died in 1996.
Frank Kuta (23rd Ward): Convicted in 1974
Kuta was convicted of accepting a $1,500 bribe in a zoning case, according to published reports.
Joseph Potempa (23rd Ward): Pleaded guilty in 1973
Potempa was convicted of bribery and tax evasion.
Casimir Staszcuk (13th Ward): Convicted in 1973
Staszcuk allegedly accepted bribes to back zoning changes. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Joseph Jambrone (28th Ward): Convicted in 1973
Jambrone allegedly accepted kickbacks. He died in 1974 while appealing his conviction, according to published reports.
Fred Hubbard (2nd Ward): Pleaded guilty in 1972
Hubbard pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $100,000 in federal funds from a jobs program he ran. The Chicago Tribune reports he took a job as a cab driver after he was released from prison. He later assumed a false name to get a job as a substitute teacher at a Chicago Public School, where the Chicago Tribune reports he propositioned a 13-year-old girl.