Five city officials charged in investigation of patronage abuses | VailDaily.com

Five city officials charged in investigation of patronage abuses

Associated Press

CHICAGO – Five current and former city officials were indicted Thursday on fraud charges as federal prosecutors expanded their investigation of patronage abuses at City Hall.The five-count indictment was the latest development in an investigation that has penetrated the heart of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s political operation and sent shock waves through City Hall.Daley, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, said his administration plans to continue cooperating with the federal government.”I am saddened by these charges for these individuals and their families,” Daley said in a written statement. “But whether or not these allegations prove to be true, this probe has uncovered practices that plainly demand reform.”Robert Sorich, 42, formerly the mayor’s patronage chief, and Patrick Slattery, 42, who conducted job interviews in the Streets and Sanitation Department, were charged with mail fraud.Both men were arrested in July, and their attorneys said they would fight the charges.”The political nature of this prosecution should be obvious to everyone and I don’t think Chicagoans want their city run like the post office or FEMA,” said Tom Durkin, Sorich’s attorney.Timothy McCarthy, 37, who formerly interviewed job applicants in the Department of Aviation and later assisted Sorich in the department of intergovernmental affairs, was charged with mail fraud. He plans to plead not guilty, his attorney said.John Sullivan, 38, former deputy commissioner of streets and sanitation, was charged with mail fraud and making false statements to federal agents. He also plans to plead not guilty, said his attorney William Martin.Daniel Katalinic, 54, also a former deputy commissioner of streets and sanitation, also was charged with mail fraud. He is already cooperating in the investigation, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Katalinic’s attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday.The charges grow out of the federal government’s 18-month investigation of the city’s scandal-plagued Hired Truck Program. So far, 36 defendants, including 20 current or former city employees have been charged and 23 convicted. One died and the rest have charges pending.The indictment said jobs and promotions were exchanged for political campaign work and indicated further charges are likely.Vail, Colorado