Five months after charges were first filed against her, former Chicago Ald. Arenda Troutman was indicted Wednesday for allegedly taking a bribe from a developer looking to smooth the way for a project in her ward.In February she lost her re-election bid to a former police officer, Willie Cochrane. I have strolled thru that ward a few times, I still see campaign posters up. Especially Cochran's. Well in fact in a lot of wards nearby posters are up as if the municipal elections aren't over.
The indictment did not expand the case against Troutman. It accused her of taking a $5,000 cash bribe and a $5,000 check for her campaign fund in exchange for helping to move the project forward.
Troutman allegedly thought she was dealing with a private developer looking to pay her off, but authorities have said the bribe payer was actually working undercover with the FBI.
She could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if she is convicted of the bribery count. Troutman, who lost a re-election bid after she was first charged in January, is free on her own recognizance.
She has repeatedly denied the charges. Troutman's attorneys have said the case amounts to entrapment.
Randall Samborn, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said Troutman would be arraigned at a later date.
Anyway one evening we drove by her former aldermanic offices. They were boarded up. There are still signs up reminding people of who USED to be their alderman. The fact is that since she no longer has the 20th ward seat, there's no point in having those offices. She is still committeeman I imagine, unless it's decided to take that away from her too. At least before the next Democratic committeeman elections next year.
You know I would ride the L and past 63rd Street you would see a nice little campaign poster on a building. It was very visible, campaign poster probably wouldn't be the correct term. We could see the smile on her face as if this was another election in the page.
Unfortuately on election night she wasn't smiling. And she's not dancing either.