Veteran Alderman Pleads Guilty in Corruption Probe
CHICAGO (AP) _ A prominent City Council member pleaded guilty to extortion and tax fraud Thursday in a wide-ranging investigation of corruption among Chicago area officials.
Alderman Allan Streeter was the second council member to plead guilty in the government’s Operation Silver Shovel investigation.
Prosecutors acknowledged that the 62-year-old alderman, a City Council member for 15 years, secretly helped the FBI by taping conversations with other officials. Prosecutors said more charges are expected.
Streeter pleaded guilty to one count of extortion and one count of filing a false tax return in 1993 by failing to include nearly $17,000 in payoffs.
He admitted receiving nearly $37,000 in 39 separate cash payments averaging $900 a month over more than two years from an undercover FBI agent and a contractor who was a cooperating government witness. The payments were in exchange for official favors.
Streeter, who is free on a recognizance bond, could be sentenced to 23 years in prison and fined $500,000. But federal sentencing guidelines appear to call for 24 months to 30 months.
Prosecutors said they would call for a sentence of less than two years if Streeter keeps his promise to help in future prosecutions.
At City Hall, aldermen did not hide their resentment toward Streeter.
``It’s always wrong when you’ve got a stool pigeon,″ Alderman William Beavers said. ``You know, if you do a crime, you should be able to do your own time. You shouldn’t have to take anybody with you.″
Alderman Ambrosio Medrano was the first to plead guilty in the probe. He is to be sentenced May 8 for taking payoffs in connection with a trash dump.