Chicago City Clerk James Laski returned to
work Tuesday, Jan. 17, just three working days after being slapped with charges
for his alleged involvement with the city’s scandal-ridden Hired Truck program.
However, he has given no indication of whether he will step down from his
On Friday, Jan. 13, Laski was charged with
bribery and obstruction of justice in a federal court. Laski was released on
$10,000 bond, but is required to wear an electronic tracking bracelet at all
According to the Chicago Tribune, two employees in Laski’s department wore
electronic surveillance equipment to gather evidence of the city higher-up’s
alleged bribe-taking. One of the two unnamed informants 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 Tribune.
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.
Also on Tuesday, former Chicago Police
Commander Michael Acosta pleaded guilty to soliciting bribes from trucking
companies. According to the Chicago
Sun-Times, Acosta siphoned $4,000 from a large donation that was
intended to be used for a police ceremony. He also lied to investigators about
his ties to John “Quarters” Boyle, who was sentenced for his involvement last
To date, 39 individuals have been charged in
the ongoing federal investigation into Hired Truck, in which city officials
shook down trucking companies for bribes and campaign donations in exchange for
lucrative city work. Twenty-six people have been found guilty or pleaded
guilty, including 14 city workers, and 20 people have already been sentenced,
according to the Chicago Sun-Times.