Feds Raid Offices Of Powerful Democratic State Sen. Sandoval | WBEZ
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Feds Raid Offices Of Powerful Democratic State Sen. Sandoval

Federal investigators were again raiding the offices of yet another prominent Illinois politician Tuesday.

Agents served a search warrant at the Illinois Capitol office of state Sen. Martin Sandoval. The powerful Democrat from Chicago's Southwest Side has been a senator since 2003.

Sandoval could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

A source close to the investigation told WBEZ that agents also had obtained warrants to search Sandoval's district office in Cicero and other, unspecified locations.

"I can confirm we have agents present at the state Capitol and they're engaged in an authorized law enforcement activity," FBI spokesman John Althen said. He declined to comment further.

​It was unclear whether the raids on Sandoval's offices were related to an ongoing probe that has looked at Illinois House Speaker and state Democratic Party boss Michael Madigan, utility giant ComEd and others with ties to Madigan.

Last month, Sandoval issued a public apology after a supporter staged a mock assassination of President Donald Trump at a fundraiser for Sandoval, which sparked national, bipartisan criticism.

Sandoval, 55, came to power with the help of the now-defunct Hispanic Democratic Organization, a patronage army that was created by supporters of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley.

When HDO collapsed in the wake of a hiring fraud scandal at Chicago’s City Hall, Sandoval was not charged with any wrongdoing. But he was among HDO's most vocal defenders, saying authorities who targeted the group acted out of racism against Latinos.

In addition to his work in Springfield, Sandoval owns a company called Puentes Inc., which has done public-relations work for the town of Cicero and other municipal clients, according to state records.

Sandoval's attempt to expand his family's power failed last year when his daughter lost in a bid for a Cook County Board seat previously occupied by Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.

Dan Mihalopoulos is an investigative reporter for WBEZ. State politics reporters Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold contributed reporting.

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