City Hall Corruption Trial Goes to Jury

June 28, 2006

Federal prosecutors yesterday capped off the six week corruption trial against four former Chicago city hall workers. The case now goes to the jury.

During closing arguments, the government painted the defendants as drivers in a locomotive that ran roughshod over fair hiring rules. That elicited several loud objections, but U.S. Assistant Attorney Philip Guentert continued. He said the jury's obligated to slow that machine down.

That riled the defense, including Patrick Slattery's lawyer, Pat Blegen.

"It's not the jury's job to send a message. It's the jury's job to evaluate the evidence and follow the law and the judge's instructions," Blegen said.

The jury will weigh five counts of fraud against Robert Sorich, Timothy McCarthy and Pat Slattery. The remaining defendant, John Sullivan, faces two counts of lying to federal investigators. Federal Judge David Coar will provide the jury instructions later this morning.