Questions remain in ongoing Hired Truck investigation

| 8/26/2005

The Chicago mayor’s office has finally released employment records related to the city’s scandal-ridden Hired Truck program – 19 months after a federal investigation began – but officials said they still haven’t determined the ringleader of the operation.

On Thursday, Aug. 25, Ron Huberman, chief of staff for Mayor Richard Daley, made public the employment records of Angelo Torres, a former boss in the program who has already been sentenced to two years in prison. The records contain information about supervisors and pay raises over a seven-year period, the Chicago Tribune reported.

However, Huberman told the Tribune his office has been unable to determine who promoted Torres, who received pay raises 14 times and advanced from a car booter to one of the highest positions in the program in just eight years.

“I would like nothing better today than to be able to stand up here and say this is the individual or the two individuals or the three individuals directly responsible for the hiring of Angelo Torres,” Huberman told the Tribune. “We are just not able to clearly get at that answer, and it would be unfair to throw out names of any sort because we can’t conclusively say that those are the people responsible.”

Officials with the mayor’s office aren’t the only ones struggling in the ongoing Hired Truck investigation.

A U.S. District Judge denied Anthony Affetto – a former trucking company owner accused of paying bribes and campaign contributions in exchange for city work – a request to be represented by a public attorney, after he disclosed that he and his wife had a combined monthly income of $5,800 a month, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in trucking firm assets, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.