When he followed the footsteps of his grandfather and uncle and ran for city office himself, many Chicago political observers expected Patrick Daley Thompson to eventually aim to become the third member of his famous clan to serve as mayor.
But on Thursday — less than six years into his tenure as alderman of the Daleys’ South Side power base — Thompson instead joined the long list of Chicago City Council members who have faced federal indictments.
The office of John Lausch, the top federal prosecutor here, slapped the 11th Ward alderman with five counts of filing false tax returns and two counts of lying about what he allegedly did.
In a statement, the 51-year-old Thompson said he was innocent and would prove it at trial.
Thompson is the grandson of former Mayor Richard J. Daley and lives in the bungalow in the Bridgeport neighborhood that his late grandparents owned. He is a son of Patricia Martino, the eldest child of Richard J. and Eleanor “Sis” Daley.
Among Thompson’s well-known uncles are former Mayor Richard M. Daley; former White House chief of staff and U.S. Commerce Secretary William Daley; and Cook County Commissioner John Daley, who also is the 11th Ward Democratic committeeman and declined to comment Thursday.
Thompson’s indictment was not the only federal case unsealed against Chicago politicians on Thursday, continuing Lausch’s years-long investigations targeting many of the biggest names in government in Illinois.
The feds also announced corruption charges against Ricardo Munoz, the former alderman of the 22nd Ward, which includes the Little Village area. Prosecutors say Munoz was “using money from a political fund to pay personal expenses.”
Reached by phone Thursday, Munoz declined to comment.
Munoz, 56, was a member of the City Council from 1993 until 2019, when he did not run for re-election.
According to the 16-count indictment against Munoz, he allegedly “used money from a political action committee formed by the Chicago Progressive Reform Caucus (CPRC) to pay a relative’s college tuition and other personal expenses, including jewelry, clothing, cell phones, vacations, sports tickets and airline tickets.”
The feds went on to itemize many of the alleged expenditures with the PAC’s money, including flights between Los Angeles and Chicago; tickets to Los Angeles Kings hockey games; “aerial sightseeing trips”; women’s clothing; “skydiving excursions”; and a $160.48 purchase at Lover’s Lane, a lingerie and sex toy shop in West Dundee, Ill.
As for the federal case against Thompson, it involved alleged personal transactions before he became alderman with a neighborhood bank that eventually collapsed.
Authorities allege Thompson got $219,000 from Washington Federal Bank for Savings in Bridgeport “via a purported loan and other unsecured payments.”
“He made one re-payment on the loan but then stopped making payments, and he failed to pay interest on the funds he received,” Lausch’s office said in a statement.
But Thompson said he was “very disappointed by the Justice Department’s decision to return an indictment against me today for inadvertent tax preparation errors and my incorrect memory about the amount of a personal bank loan.”
He said he paid taxes after realizing his mistake and also paid back the loan “when the bank provided me the documents showing the actual amount of the loan.”
“My conscience is clear,” Thompson said. “I did not commit any crimes. I am innocent, and I will prove it at trial.”
He added, “I have complete confidence in our system of justice and look forward to showing that the allegation is false.”
Thompson indicated he planned to continue to serve as alderman. Only a conviction could force him from office.
Another City Council member from the South Side, 14th Ald. Edward Burke, has continued in office as he has fought corruption charges for more than two years.
Dan Mihalopoulos is an investigative reporter on WBEZ’s Government & Politics Team. Follow him @dmihalopoulos