West Cook News

West Cook News

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Cicero has extensive records of Sandoval’s work for the town, but public restricted from viewing them all

Local Government

By W.J. Kennedy | Oct 11, 2019

State Sen. Martin Sandoval

After a week’s delay, the Town of Cicero told West Cook News that it has 476 pages of records of payments and other records of work that state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) has done for the community. But Cicero’s Freedom of Information (FOIA) Officer said that “certain responsive records were withheld in their entirety and certain language was redacted as it is privileged information pertaining to attorney client communications.”

The October 9 FOIA response from Cicero said that the records would have to be picked up or the town would mail them upon request.

Sandoval’s work for the town, and other municipalities and government entities in his district, has been public for years.

Sandoval's statements of economic interest filed with the Illinois Secretary of State's office confirmed that he has done side work for government entities, including North Berwyn Park District.

In 2012, the Chicago Sun-Times, citing Cicero records, reported that the town paid Sandoval’s translation company, Puentes, Inc.,  $4,200 a month.

West Cook News requested the records from Cicero, and from other municipalities in Sandoval’s Senate district, to see what connection the payments had, if any, to FBI raids nearly two weeks ago on Sandoval’s home in Chicago, his Senate office in Springfield, and his office in Gage Park. Those raids were followed days later by raids on the villages of McCook and Lyons, both of which lie in Sandoval’s district. McCook responded to a FOIA request that it had no records of payments to Sandoval or, Puentes, which he runs out of Gage Park.

Other possible reasons for the raids include an investigation into the nature of Sandoval’s connection to the electric generator, ComEd, and allegations of Sandoval abusing his position as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.

CBS 2 reported that ComEd had acknowledged Thursday that they’ve been subpoenaed for “records of any communications” with Sandoval. And a report from Chicago Tribune cited sources that the feds are investigating allegations that Sandoval used his position as Transportation chair to "steer business to at least one company in exchange for kickbacks.”

This week, some Democratic senators have called for Sandoval to step aside as chair. Last week, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker made the same request. In June, Pritzker signed a $45 billion infrastructure package, which includes significant investments in the state’s roads and bridges. Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) has said he’s awaiting additional details of the FBI investigation before any consideration of stripping Sandoval of his position.

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Illinois State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-11th)Town of Cicero

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