Hired Truck program to come to end earlier than expected

| 5/9/2006

After years of controversy and a continuing federal investigation, the city of Chicago has plans to put an end to its scandal-ridden Hired Truck program earlier than expected.

On Friday, May 5, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley announced that the program, which outsourced construction and hauling work to private trucking firms in an attempt to reduce costs, will be shut down in October.

Officials had already announced that the program would be shut down in February 2007, but the date was moved up by four months to help squash controversy, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The city has slowly been phasing out the program during the past few months. Once it’s officially abolished, 60 city-owned trucks will be purchased and 60 full-time drivers will be hired.

To date, 44 individuals have been charged in the ongoing federal investigation into Hired Truck, in which trucking companies gave bribes and political contributions to city employees in exchange for lucrative contracts with the city. Thirty-six people have pleaded guilty or have been found guilty. Twenty-two people – 18 of whom were city workers – have already been sentenced, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.