November 4, 2009 City of Chicago employee Carmen Hernandez has proudly served his country time and time again. When he returned from reserve duty protecting our United States, he noticed the American flag ripped and torn. A complaint was also made by Bruce Randazzo to replace the flag located at 4900 West Sunnyside, a Chicago Department of Water Management site. Carmen took down the old and dirty American flag, disposed of the flag in a proper manner, and Carmen installed a new American flag. Carmen purchased the new flag with his hard earned money. God Bless America and God Bless Carmen Hernandez! Photo by Patrick McDonough
5 Replies to “Carmen Hernandez Chicago Department of Water Management Hero”
GREAT JOB CARMEN. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. YOU ARE A TRUE HERO. GOD BLESS YOU AND ALL YOUR BUDDIES THAT PUT THERE ASS ON THE LINE FOR THIS COUNTRY.
Naperville businessman charged with bribing ‘city agent’
November 5, 2009
BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter AND FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
It was June, 2008, when a Naperville businessman met with an influential city alderman to talk about winning lucrative airport concessions contracts.
Their discussion was part in code and part out loud.
» Click to enlarge image A criminal complaint filed in federal court reveals the FBI has used an unnamed cooperator in its investigation for at least a year. The Chicago Sun-Times has learned that the cooperator is Ald. Isaac “Ike” Carothers — who was charged earlier this year with corruption
(John H. White/Sun-Times)
But it was all captured on FBI recordings, according to charges.
With both video and audio rolling, the businessman, Wafeek “Wally” Aiyash, allegedly offered Ald. Isaac “Ike” Carothers a $100,000 cash bribe — $10,000 of it up front — if Carothers would secure concessions contracts for him, a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday says.
At another meeting between the two, Carothers picked up an envelope stuffed with $5,000 in cash, held it in front of a video camera for several seconds and then put it in his jacket, according to charges. With the cash came a map from Aiyash with “requested locations” for seven different restaurants he and his partners wanted to open at O’Hare and Midway airports, the charges say.
Aiyash, 50, was arrested Thursday morning and charged with bribing Carothers, who himself was charged with bribe-taking last spring. The Sun-Times reported in the spring that Carothers was secretly cooperating
with authorities for a year, including wearing a wire. He’s pleaded not guilty to federal charges. Aiyash’s complaint is the first detailing of Carothers’ cooperation with the FBI.
It involved a number of meetings and phone calls with Aiyash, the owner of a restaurant, sports bar and housing businesses, according to public records.
At one point after he allegedly passed Carothers a $5,000 bribe, the businessman left Carothers numerous messages to call him back, including one where Aiyash said he was with another alderman, referred to only as Alderman A, in the complaint.
Before the June, 2008, meeting, an FBI agent handed Carothers a marked business card. On it, Carothers wrote: “100 & Partner,” referring to past discussions with Aiyash about teaming up at the airports.
At the meeting with Aiyash, Carothers wrote on the card: “10 to start” to ask for a $10,000 advance. He then asked Aiyash on tape: “Can we do something like that? To get started?”
Aiyash allegedly responded: “I think so yeah,” and, in a response to whether it would be in cash, he’s accused of saying: “That’s the only way I’ll do it.”
After the meeting, Carothers handed the same card back to the FBI, according to charges.
Aiyash’s lawyer had no comment on the charges.
The complaint does not name the cooperator, but sources told the Chicago Sun-Times it is Carothers.
Carothers (29th) is one of 14 members of the City Council’s Aviation Committee. On Thursday, Rosemarie Andolino, who heads the Department of Aviation and O’Hare Airport expansion, was stunned by the allegations. She said procedures are in place that would keep from giving one person too much power.
“Decisions are made with my team of people. There’s never any aldermanic decision in any of that,” Andolino said.
She said the city hasn’t added any concession contracts recently. “We have a couple of things that are up that were reviewed a long, long time ago that are now coming to fruition. [But], we have not put anything to bid recently at all.”
Contributing: Tim Novak
100,000 bribe offer to Chicago alderman alleged
November 5, 2009 A businessman offered a $100,000 bribe to an alderman he thought could help him open seven restaurants in Chicago’s two airports, according to federal charges unsealed Thursday.
But the businessman did not know that the powerful alderman, Isaac “Ike” Carothers, had been cooperating for months in an undercover FBI sting, a source familiar with the investigation said.
Carothers wore a hidden microphone and a video camera to secretly capture his meetings with businessman Wafeek “Wally” Aiyash.
Authorities, referring to Carothers in court papers only as “Cooperating Witness,” said the alderman began helping them in 2008 in hopes of winning a reduced sentence for his own crimes. Charges against Carothers for allegedly taking bribes from a developer were made public earlier this year.
According to Thursday’s charges, Aiyash promised during a series of meetings between May and September 2008 that he would give cash to Carothers if the alderman helped him obtain a piece of the lucrative restaurant business at O’Hare International and Midway airports. Carothers is a member of the City Council’s Aviation Committee, whose duties include approving contracts at the airports.
Their conversations were often cryptic and involved scribbling notes on pieces of paper to communicate the alleged bribe, according to court records.
In one meeting, Aiyash allegedly promised Carothers $10,000 upfront with the remaining money later. Records show that Aiyash wrote down the word “cash” on the back of one of Carothers’ business cards and allegedly said, “That’s the only way I’ll do it.”
Authorities arrested Aiyash on Thursday at his Naperville home on charges that he delivered two bribes totaling $9,000 in 2008 and offered the rest of the money to Carothers if the contracts came through. He was later released.
Aiyash, 50, owns numerous properties in the Chicago area, including a Grandma Sally’s restaurant.
Aiyash’s lawyer declined to comment on the bribery charge.
Federal authorities have long had an interest in pay-to-play allegations at Chicago’s two airports. Sources familiar with the matter said agents continue to investigate how contracts were awarded at O’Hare, but it appears that the Aiyash case is not part of that larger, ongoing investigation.
Carothers, the 29th Ward alderman and a longtime ally of Mayor Richard Daley’s, could not be reached Thursday for comment, but it was revealed shortly after his arrest in May that he had cooperated with the FBI in corruption investigations.
Carothers, who continues working as an alderman, was charged with accepting $40,000 in gifts, including White Sox baseball tickets, for supporting a zoning change in 2006 that cleared the way for a residential and commercial project in his ward.
Court records in that case show Carothers cooperated against the developer, Calvin Boender, and that he has secretly taped other public officials. Boender has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
Like Boender, Aiyash donated to Carothers’ political campaigns and did business in his West Side ward.
Thursday’s charges allege that Aiyash had a corrupt relationship with Carothers before the alderman began cooperating with federal authorities.
Carothers told federal authorities that in 2007 Aiyash allegedly had given him $40,000 to $50,000 in cash in exchange for the alderman’s “assistance in obtaining the requisite approvals to develop certain property” owned by Aiyash.
According to public records, Carothers rents space for his district offices from one of Aiyash’s companies, WJ Madison Plaza.
In 2005 the city sold vacant property in the 5200 block of West Madison Street in Carothers’ ward to WJ Madison for $1, as the city sometimes does to spur development in blighted areas. The city valued the property at $376,000. WJ Madison paid $730,000 that same year to buy nearby property on the same block.
In the end, Aiyash and his partners spent about $4 million to develop more than half the block, according to city documents. “It cost us a fortune,” said John Bozonelos, an Aiyash partner.
Bozonelos said he and Aiyash met about 15 years ago through their wives and eventually went into the business together. He said he was stunned by the bribery charge.
“You could have no better person as a friend,” Bozonelos said. “I’m flabbergasted. I could not believe it. I don’t think Wally has any intention to bribe someone.”
–Todd Lighty, Hal Dardick and Jeff Coen
I lowered the flag on Friday to honor the soldiers who were murdered at FT.Hood.This was an act of terrorism!
The media will try to say that this person was crazy,bullshit! he knew what he was doing.
Please pray for the families of our fallen soldiers.
Thank you,SFC.Carmen Hernandez (Response) I hope everyone in Chicago understands how important the flag is. All Chicagoans should conceal carry if Mayor daley and Obama sell out anymore jobs to their friends overseas.
Because of the attack on american soldiers at FT. Hood,people will try to say that all muslims are bad,that is wrong!I have served with muslim soldiers,here and in Iraq, and I trust them,they are some of the best people I have had the honor to serve and work with.
thank you and God bless!
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