The wife of a former
trucking company owner pleaded guilty in the ongoing investigation of Chicago’s
corrupt Hired Truck Program.
pleaded guilty to one count of witness tampering in a federal court on
Wednesday, June 15. In her plea agreement, Coveliers admitted to helping
conceal the fact that her husband, Richard Coveliers, was owner of Cayla
Trucking Inc. Richard Coveliers, who was a drain inspector with the city, was
ineligible to receive other city work for his firm.
According to the Chicago
Sun-Times, in a teary confession on the witness stand, Debra Coveliers
admitted to covering her husband’s tracks, and often posed to city officials as
the company’s owner. Her charges of witness tampering stem from coaching
another unnamed woman, known as “Cayla Official A,” to lie to federal
makes her the 14th person to plead guilty in the Hired Truck Scandal, which
took bribes for political campaigns totaling $1.4 million in exchange for
lucrative city trucking work. Twenty-seven people face charges in the case.
Debra Coveliers will
face sentencing on Oct. 28. Her crime could carry a sentence of up to five
years in federal prison, but prosecutors told the Chicago Tribune they
will recommend six months of home confinement in exchange for her cooperation
in the investigation.
Richard Coveliers’ case, which includes separate charges of mail fraud and making false
statements, is still pending.