Former Chicago alderman bailed out of jail by 99-year-old mother-in-law

July 3, 2012

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(WBEZ/Robert Wildeboer)
Medrano's friend and attorney John De Leon talks to reporters at the Dirksen Federal Court Building

Former Chicago Alderman Ambrosio Medrano is expected to get out of jail thanks to his 99-year-old mother-in-law, who agreed to post her home for bond.

Medrano was arrested last week on federal bribery charges, but it’s not his first time. As an alderman in the 1990s Medrano pleaded guilty to taking bribes, and he served almost two years in prison. He was arrested again last week on bribery charges related to his work under former Cook County Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno, who was also charged. Prosecutors say the two were pressuring Cook County hospital officials to buy large amounts of bandages from a company that was going to pay kickbacks to Moreno and Medrano.

Medrano’s friend and attorney John De Leon seemed disappointed with Medrano for being arrested a second time. “Living with and working in the political community in Illinois, not much seems to change. You still get tempted and sometimes you fall,” says De Leon.

But De Leon says Moreno was the boss and he was calling the shots. “Something happened.  Obviously he's been arrested and he's here.  Something happened.  I'm not conceding he's guilty of it yet, but obviously he was swept up in this situation with Cook County Commissioner Mario Moreno.”