The ongoing federal investigation into
’s scandal-ridden Hired Truck program has reached a
in the city’s hierarchy.
On Friday, Jan. 13, Chicago City Clerk James
Laski was charged with soliciting payoffs and obstructing justice for his
alleged involvement in Hired Truck, a program in which city officials demanded
bribes and political campaign contributions from trucking companies in exchange
for lucrative work with the city.
Laski’s charges stem from two unnamed
witnesses, one of whom told investigators that Laski – who has served as the city’s
clerk since 1995 – had asked for $500 to $1,000 in bribes as a tradeoff for
city contract work, according to the Chicago
An affidavit also claims he promised to hire
applicants recommended by Donald Tomczak – the city’s former Water Department
head, who pleaded guilty to his own charges several months ago – for more
support of the Hired Truck program, the Tribune reported.
Laski was released on $10,000 bond, but was
required to wear an electronic tracking bracelet at all times.
To date, 39 individuals have been charged in
the ongoing. Twenty-five people have been found guilty, including 13 city
workers, and 20 people have already been sentenced, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.