Former Laski political aide pleads guilty to Hired Truck wrongdoing

| 5/10/2006

A former high-ranking political adviser has pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing justice for his involvement in Chicago’s scandal-ridden Hired Truck program.

Salvatore “Sam” Gammicchia, who previously worked as a campaign coordinator for former Chicago City Clerk James Laski, entered his plea Tuesday, May 9.

Gammicchia coached Mick Jones, a trucking company owner, into giving false testimony before a grand jury, in order to help get Laski off the hook for bribery charges. According to the Chicago Tribune, Gammicchia also threatened Jones with physical harm if he didn’t cooperate.

At his July 18 sentencing, Gammicchia could face up to three years in federal prison for his crime. Laski pleaded guilty in March for accepting more than $50,000 in bribes.

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-seven 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.