Mario Olivella is a member of Plumber's Local 130. The Plumber's Union is run by James Sullivan. It is no secret, politician go to see James Sullivan for money when it is time to get reelected. I need to figure out how James Sullivan can give all that much money legally. Of course, when you control the judges in Chicagoland, you can bend the law to make things happen. Many times, the Plumber's Union hall is used for fund raising, and I hope the union members are reimbursed for the use. When you control the local judges, and they know you control their livelihood, you know you never cross the Plumber's union. For twenty years, Local 130 and Mayor Daley shared the same bed, resulting in massive power for Daley. The membership of Plumber's Local 130 have watched the union become the laughing stock of the industry. Member after member sits at home, praying for a side job to keep the heat and lights on. James Sullivan took another job in the United Association, stockpiling pension after pension. Many people have their jobs with the City of Chicago need to thank and continue to thank the Plumber's Union. Despite the ban on Shakman Laws, the same steel grip continues, leaving the City of Chicago to have incompetent supervision. Many more Plumbing Inspectors remain that need time in jail. Chicago Taxpayers got stuck buying homes and condos with no Plumbing Inspection. How the hell can you inspect anything if you cannot walk? The "Inspection" consisted of a drive by and an envelope exchanged for a signature. Look at all the "suckers" breathing sewer gas from open drains. Look at all the envelopes exchanged for not installing a water service, leaving the old lead for the new homeowners to drink. Is the City of Chicago going to re-inspect these homes? No! Is the City of Chicago still hiring and promoting "Plumbers" that received licenses illegally? Yes. Did the politician's friends that know nothing about Plumbing receiving illegal licenses for their phony minority companies? Yes. Is the Chicago Office of the Inspector General doing anything? No. Is the F.B.I. doing anything? No. Is Patrick Fitzgerald taking interviews and following up on complaints? No. They just busted a bunch of tokens and let the sharks continue business as usual. They also allowed Mario on the City Payroll after he was busted. Despite numerous complaints by members of the Municipal Advocate General, the shut up money continued, months on end. Also in the news, Martin Munoz, a clout heavy hoisting engineer busted by Fran Spielman for clubbing another city worker in front of witnesses, at 39th and Ashland, did not have an easy landing when a guy ran him over on Election Day this week. I will watch in case he files a workman's compensation claim, will you? Yes sir, the tumor heads at the Water Department let him off the hook, over stepping an I. G. investigation. What comes around goes around. I hope the guy that ran Martin over calls Senator Munoz and asks for the investigation to be squashed. Martin took a day off from work to act the clout role and paid the price. The taxes are going to explode next year to make sure these guys get a nice big fat pension. How is a second job looking about now? Enjoy your weekend, Patrick McDonough.
3 1/2 years for "major league bribe-taker"
City plumbing inspector took more than $50,000 to look the other way
By Andy Grimm, Tribune reporter
7:39 PM CDT, November 5, 2010
A City of Chicago plumbing inspector labeled a "major league bribe-taker" by federal prosecutors was sentenced Friday to about 3 ½ years in prison as part of the Operation Crooked Code probe.
A federal jury convicted Mario Olivella of bribery and conspiracy in January for taking a $7,000 payoff to overlook substandard plumbing and code violations at a building being converted to condos in the Edgewater neighborhood.
In imposing the 41-month prison term, U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow agreed with prosecutors that in all Olivella pocketed more than $50,000 in bribes to look the other way. Olivella, a supervisory plumbing inspector for the city's Department of Buildings since 1998, could have been given a little more than 4 years in prison under federal guidelines.
"Mr. Olivella is a habitual law breaker," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hotaling, who asked the judge to give Olivella a sentence that would "send a message" to City Hall workers.
"Mr. Olivella is in the big leagues," Hotaling said. "He is a major league bribe-taker in the city."
The probe by the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the city's Office of Inspector General has resulted in charges against 29 individuals. So far, 21 people, 16 of them former city employees, have been convicted.
Catherine Romasanta, an "expediter" whose job was to help cut through City Hall red tape, often acted as a middleman in the scheme, splitting bribes from developers and contractors with corrupt building inspectors. Romasanta began cooperating with investigators, recorded numerous payoffs and later testified against Olivella and others.
Her sentencing has been delayed numerous times as she waited to testify against additional defendants.
Jonathan Davey, a spokesman for the inspector general, said Friday that Olivella had remained on the city payroll and continued to collect pay and benefits even after he was found guilty in January.
A spokesman for the city's Buildings Department couldn't be reached Friday for comment on Olivella's status.
According to evidence at trial, FBI agents secretly took photographs in 2007 as Olivella watched a Bulls game in a United Center skybox with Beny Garneata, a contractor who was convicted in the probe. Olivella later was seen leaving Garneata's office with an envelope that authorities said was stuffed with $7,000 in return for overlooking plumbing violations at a condo building in the 1600 block of West Granville Avenue.
Olivella's attorney, Daniel Herbert, argued that prosecutors overstated what Olivella took in from bribes.
Olivella has coached football at his alma mater, Gordon Tech High School, and has served on the school's board of directors, Herbert said.
Olivella, 42, spoke briefly to the judge.
"I ask that you consider my family," he said.
"You were supposed to be upholding the public trust," Lefkow said.
Olivella is scheduled to report to prison on Jan. 31.
Tribune reporter Ray Gibson contributed to this report.