Hastert Land Deal Questioned

June 15, 2006

U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is facing ethics questions about land he sold in Kendall County.

Last year's federal highway bill included more than $200-million for the Prairie Parkway, a pet project of Speaker Hastert that will connect I-80 to I-88.

Now a congressional watchdog says the Yorkville lawmaker sold land within six miles of the parkway's route at a considerable profit.

A senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, Bill Allison, says Hastert failed to fully report the property's address on congressional disclosure forms.

"Speaker Hastert has consistently cited the growing population of the county as necessitating the Prairie Parkway," Allison says. "And what his constituents don't know is that he's also profiting from that growth. And I think that that's relevant information for them to have."

Hastert denies he pushed for the highway in order to make a profit off the land deal. He says the property he sold has nothing to do with the Prairie Parkway.