Hired Truck investigation focuses on former police commander

| 1/5/2006

The ongoing federal investigation of Chicago’s scandal-ridden Hired Truck program has made its way into the higher ranks of the city’s police force.

Later this month, O’Hare Police Cmdr. Michael Acosta is scheduled to stand trial for his involvement in the program. According to the Chicago Tribune, Acosta was implicated in the scandal after a 2004 FBI wiretap linked him to John “Quarters” Boyle, who is currently serving prison time for taking bribes from trucking companies in exchange for city work.

According to the Tribune, Acosta would ask Boyle for various favors, including discounted construction work on his home, and in turn would help Boyle’s associates who got into legal trouble. Acosta also allegedly stole $4,000 from a police fund, and lied to investigators when questioned about his ties to Boyle.

Acosta has also been tied to Nick LoCoco, a man who, according to the Tribune, worked as a mob bookkeeper and was a key figure in dish out work to Hired Truck companies. LoCoco was charged for his involvement in 2004, but died in a freak horse-riding accident before his trial could begin.

The Hired Truck program has already rocked the city’s Streets and Sanitation department, where employees often shook down trucking company owners for bribes and political contributions, and would in turn grant them lucrative work with the city.

To date, 37 individuals have been charged in the ongoing federal investigation. Twenty-five people have been found guilty, including 13 city workers, and 20 people have already been sentenced, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.