Federal agents have widened their corruption probe into the dirty world of Chicago politics and nabbed a very big fish.
The FBI has raided multiple longtime Chicago powerbrokers in the last few months and this new raid signals a new line of attack.
The FBI had been focused on Edward Burke and his cronies, but this new raid makes clear the FBI has bigger fish in their sights – the very top of the Dem political establishment in Illinois.
Michael Madigan is the de facto boss of Chicago and Illinois politics and this raid makes clear he is next in the barrel.
The FBI raided the Springfield (the state capitol) and Cicero offices of longtime Democratic state Sen. Martin Sandoval a longtime ally of Madigan, the speaker of the House in Illinois.
From The Chicago Tribune: Shortly after 12:30 p.m., at least eight men left the Senate Democratic offices carrying two cardboard boxes, two brown bags labeled “evidence” and what appeared to be a desktop computer, wrapped in plastic. They loaded everything into two SUVs.
An FBI spokesman confirmed that agents were at the capitol Tuesday conducting “authorized law enforcement activity,” but declined to comment further. The spokesman had no immediate comment when asked about the search of Sandoval’s Cicero office.
A man who answered the door at Sandoval’s Southwest Side home said the legislator was not home. Later, two officials with duty belts and handcuffs came out of the home to get wheeled hand trucks, taking them inside. One later identified himself as from the Internal Revenue Service criminal division.
Sandoval could not immediately be reached.
Born in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, Sandoval, 55, first won election to the senate in 2002 with the support of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and the now-defunct Hispanic Democratic Organization.
Sandoval serves a Southwest Side district that shares half of its territory with powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat.
Sandoval, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, has worked with Madigan over the years on a variety of legislative issues.
Sandoval makes $80,038 as a legislator, including a stipend of $10,574 for his committee chairmanship. Sandoval lives in Gage Park with his wife and three children.