Mayor's family hits center stage in Chicago's Hired Truck scandal

| 2/17/2006

The ongoing federal investigation into Chicago’s Hired Truck program has landed dangerously close to Mayor Richard Daley’s own family.

On Thursday, Feb. 16, John Briatta, a former dispatcher for the Water Management Department, pleaded guilty to taking at least $5,400 in bribes, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Briatta is the brother-in-law of Cook County Commissioner John Daley, who is the brother of Mayor Daley. However, both of the Daley brothers have said they knew nothing of Briatta’s involvement in Hired Truck, in which city officials took bribes and political campaign contributions from trucking companies in exchange for lucrative work with the city.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 26. Briatta could face a prison sentence of 24 to 30 months, although the defense will argue for a lesser sentence, the Tribune reported.

To date, 44 individuals have been charged in the ongoing federal investigation into Hired Truck. Twenty-nine people have pleaded guilty or have been found guilty, including 16 city workers, and 21 people have already been sentenced, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.