Another key figure pleads guilty in Chicago 'Hired Truck' scandal

| 5/3/2005

Federal investigators have made a breakthrough in the case against Chicago’s Hired Truck program, following a guilty plea and cooperation from a former city water department official involved in the scandal.

Gerald Wesolowski, former director of finance and administration for the Chicago Water Department, pleaded guilty Monday, May 2, to one count of racketeering conspiracy and admitted to accepting $200,000 in bribes from trucking companies, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

He also testified to passing the bribes on to unnamed higher-ups in the program and is cooperating with the FBI in pursuing those individuals, WBBM-TV reported. His testimony will also play a key role in the trial of Donald Tomczak, former Water Department boss and the alleged ringleader in the scandal, the station reported.

The latest indictment is the latest in a series of indictments in the troubled city program, in which unnamed city officials solicited money from trucking companies, with money going to politicians as high up as Mayor Richard Daley. There is no indication that the politicians were aware of the wrongdoing, the Sun-Times reported.

Wesolowski is the sixth person to plead guilty in the investigation. His plea agreement could lower his punishment to as little as two years in prison and $25,000 in fines, according to reports.