Former Chicago official admits to bribing city clerk in Hired Truck case

| 3/17/2006

A former high-ranking city official has pleaded guilty to charges related to his involvement in Chicago’s scandal-ridden Hire Truck program.

On Thursday, March 16, Michael Jones admitted to giving bribes to former City Clerk James Laski, who was expected to plead guilty to his own bribery charges Friday, March 17.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Jones played a key role in the federal investigation that led to Laski’s implication. Because of his cooperation, he is expected to receive a reduced sentence of one year of home confinement, the newspaper reported.

On the same day as Jones’ plea, Robert Mangiamele, a trucking company owner, was sentenced in federal court to 18 months in prison for paying bribes. Mangiamele paid approximately $7,500 in bribes in exchange for city work, the Tribune reported.

To date, 44 individuals have been charged in the ongoing federal investigation into Hired Truck, in which trucking companies gave bribes to city employees in exchange for lucrative city work. If Laski does plead guilty, he will be the 32nd person to have pleaded guilty or to have been found guilty. Seventeen city workers and 21 people have already been sentenced, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.