Make sure you tell the truth when you are subpoenaed
Many Chicago Department of Water Management employees, past and present, will have a opportunity soon to give a honest confession of past events. If anyone plans on telling lies, please read the article below. Patrick McDonough.
Secretary of Hired Truck boss charged with perjury
FEDS | Accused of telling grand jury she saw no cash passed
July 27, 2007
BY ABDON M. PALLASCH Legal Affairs Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
Hired Truck boss Angelo Torres' secretary told a grand jury she never saw cash passed in the office, according to an indictment handed up Thursday.
She was lying and is now charged with one count of perjury, according to the indictment.
Valerie Jones, 40, becomes the 49th person charged in the Hired Truck scandal that has seen 44 people convicted since it began in January 2004.
CAUGHT IN SCANDAL
49 people have been charged in the federal government's investigation of the Hired Truck Program and City Hall hiring.
44 have been convicted, including more than 20 city workers.
1 man who was charged will never go to trial because he died after a freak horseback-riding accident.
The Chicago Sun-Times broke the story in 2004 that the city was spending $40 million a year for clouted and connected truck companies -- some with organized-crime ties -- often to do nothing but sit by and watch as city crews worked.
Jones told the grand jury she never had any contact with the truck companies after she had left the office, that she never saw Torres with an envelope with money in it, and that she only once saw money being passed regarding the program.
In fact, the indictment alleges, Jones had regular contact with one trucking company owner, she did give Torres an envelope with $1,500 from another company owner, and she received several gifts herself from truck company owners, including one who paid a portion of a down payment on her car.
One 2000 memo obtained by the Sun-Times shows Jones told Torres a trucking company owner "shoved a bill into my hand and closed it." That was after the owner offered to take Jones to lunch and she told him, "I already had lunch," the memo says.
The company was suspended from the program three days later.
If convicted, Jones faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Reached at her home, Jones said, "I have no idea about that. I'll have to call my lawyer. Thank you," and hung up.
Jones' former boss, Torres, was the first person charged in the investigation, three days after the Sun-Times began running its series on the program. He pleaded guilty to shaking down trucking contractors for bribes and political contributions and was sentenced to two years in prison.
Mayor Daley has said for the last three years that he does not know who appointed Torres to head the Hired Truck Program. Torres was active in the Hispanic Democratic Organization, which worked for Daley and candidates he supported.