Former city clerk sentenced in Chicago's Hired Truck investigation

| 6/14/2006

The highest-ranking public official implicated in the federal investigation of Chicago’s Hired Truck program has been sentenced to two years in prison.

James Laski, the former Chicago city clerk, pleaded guilty previously and was sentenced by a federal judge Wednesday, June 14, for taking close to $50,000 in bribes from trucking company officials.

“After 26 years in government service, I have thrown everything away for the sum of $48,000,” Laski, who was a city alderman prior to his stint as city clerk, said in court prior to his sentencing.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Laski could’ve faced as much as 37 months in prison, but his sentence was reduced because of his cooperation with investigators.

To date, 45 individuals have been charged for their involvement with 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-four people – 20 of whom were city workers – have already been sentenced, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.