Chicago Hiring Scheme Trial Continues

May 18, 2006

The federal corruption trial of Robert Sorich and three co-defendants continues today. They're accused of concealing political clout in the hiring of City of Chicago workers.

Defense attorneys today will continue their cross-examination of Mary Jo Falcon, the former personnel director for Chicago's sewer and water management departments. Falcon testified she and several of the defendants helped politically-connected applicants land city jobs.

Prosecutors have granted Falcon immunity in exchange for her help. Yesterday, defense attorney Thomas Durkin honed in on that deal as he builds upon an argument he made at the start of the trial. He says the trial is meant to unseat Mayor Richard Daley.

Today, Durkin will take another shot at Falcon's testimony. He's likely to ask her how defendants got her to go along with the hiring scheme: Did city hall merely suggest candidates to her, or would Falcon lose her job if she didn't follow through?