A Chicago alderman was indicted Thursday on federal fraud and bribery charges for allegedly receiving $40,000 in home improvements from a developer in return for supporting a zoning change.Another proud moment in Chicago!
Alderman Isaac "Ike" Carothers allegedly supported the rezoning of a 50-acre former rail yard and industrial site on Chicago's West Side sought by developer Calvin Boender, the 11-count indictment said. Boender also was charged in the alleged scheme, which prosecutors said included giving Carothers meals and tickets to sporting events.
Boender made about $3 million when 25 acres was sold for $6 million after the property, the largest undeveloped tract in the city, was rezoned, prosecutors said. It now includes a 14-screen movie theater, a union training center and 187 single- and multi-family homes.
"Using public office to obtain personal financial benefits violates the public trust and we will continue to vigilantly investigate and prosecute both corrupt public officials and businessmen who see to profit by corruption them," U.S. District Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said.
According to the indictment, in the summer of 2004, Boender paid for improvements to Carothers' home, including painting, new windows and central air conditioning. Then in September of that year, Boender sought a zoning amendment to develop the land for residential and commercial use.
Carothers allegedly introduced ordinances to rezone the property, and voted in favor of them in 2007. He also allegedly filed a false statement to the city, failing to disclose the gifts from Boender, prosecutors said.
Carothers and Boender, both 54, will be arraigned at a later date, officials said.
Someone just had to add this piece of history to this news:
The father of Ike Carothers was also an alderman and Democratic committeeman on the West Side. In 1983, Bill Carothers was convicted of extortion. He tried to block a $14 million hospital expansion project unless and until he got $15,000 worth of improvements for his office.On CBS 2 there was a story where reporters talked to 29th Ward residents. As soon as I can find that I'll be sure to post it! Messed up!
It would be hard to think of another case of father and son elected officials facing similar charges 26 years apart.