Five new indictments in Hired Truck investigation

| Monday, January 30, 2006

The ongoing investigation into the city of Chicago’s scandal-ridden Hired Truck program seems to be never-ending, as five more individuals were indicted last week.

City Clerk James Laski, who was preliminarily charged in a federal complaint the week before, was formally brought up on charges Thursday, Jan. 26, of soliciting payoffs and obstructing justice for his alleged involvement in the program.

Laski’s aide, Sam Gammicchia, was also indicted in the investigation. Two other city employees – Randy Alderman and Michael Jones – were also formally indicted for their roles in the program, in which city employees took bribes and demanded political contributions from trucking companies in exchange for lucrative city work.

One of the most notable in the series of indictments was former Water Department employee John Briatta. Briatta is a brother-in-law to John Daley, who is county commissioner of Cook County and brother to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Both Daley brothers have denied any involvement or wrongdoing in the scandal, according to The Associated Press.

Last week’s additions bring the total number of people indicted in the scandal to 42. Twenty-five people have been found guilty or pleaded guilty, including 13 city workers, and 20 people have already been sentenced, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

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