Two Chicago aldermen, a court official, and four other men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly taking bribes and payoffs and committing other acts of official corruption. United States Attorney Anton Valukas says the indictments are part of a larger ongoing investigation designed to ``root out corruption'' in Chicago. Mayor Harold Washington, who faces reelection next spring, cooperated with the probe, Mr. Valukas says, and the actions are ``not an indictment of this administration.''
The case stems from the same undercover probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into government contracting that led to indictments in New York City. A trial in that case is under way in New Haven, Conn.
A central player in the probe was an FBI informer, Michael Raymond, who presented himself to Chicago officials as the free-spending marketing director of Systematic Recovery Service Inc., a New York firm that collects overdue parking fines, water bills, and the like.
The indictments allege that Alderman Wallace Davis engaged in racketeering, mail fraud, and extortion beginning soon after his election to the City Council in 1983.
Also indicted was Alderman Clifford Kelley. He allegedly accepted $7,500 and asked for a $10,000 loan and a free rental car. In addition, he allegedly received at least $6,500 of a $10,000 payoff for approving an option for a firm to purchase property in his ward.
A Cook County Circuit Court official was indicted for allegedly selling illegal weapons to the FBI informer. Among the others named in the probe were an ex-precinct captain and a former collections chief for the city water department, both accused of extortion.