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.