Former 20th Ward Chicago Alderwoman Andrea Troutman has agreed to plead guilty to a couple of the charges in the U.S. Attorney’s indictment. Her plea agreement indicates that she admits to getting kickbacks of about $60,000. At least that’s the total that Sun-Times reporter Natasha Korecki added up. The government is seeking a fine of twice that amount, plus 3 years, ten months, to 4 years, eight months, in jail.
In addition, she will lose her government pension.
She admits to violating the mail and tax fraud statutes.
This is a basically a zoning-for-bribes case.
Chicago aldermen are “god” as far as zoning in their wards go, unless it has to do with a Children’s Museum under Grant Park.
Make a pay off to the alderman and get what you want.
That’s the tradition.
In one shakedown, Troutman asked,
“What do I get out of it?”
$15,000 was requested either for the “Black Satin” fund raiser of the 20th Ward Women’s Auxiliary or Citizens for Troutman.
Troutman extorted another $10,000 in cash from another supplicant.
Read about the 2003 Masquerade Ball. Troutman solicited contributions from “religious representatives”:
“(Her) staff asked religious representatives to make their checks payable to the Women’s Auxiliary.
“While some funds of the Women’s Auxiliary were used to pay for charitable functions, tens of thousands of dollars in funds of the Women’s Auxiliary were taken in cash withdrawals, none of which withdrawals were ever accounted for in reports that must be publicly filed by either a not-for-profit or a political committee.”
Trying to line up work for her brother in another deal, Troutman said,
“And you’re in business, you want to make money and I have to have money in order to survive.”
Later she told the businessman,
“that her brother is a broker who deals with a lot of developers, ‘And then, I’m paid through him, see? So maybe we’ll do it like that.’
“Defendant admits that it was the general practice of the 20th Ward that staff members were directed to solicit donations from those wishing to conduct real estate development business in the 20th Ward, including Individual D, and in exchange, defendant provided aldermanic support for the development projects,”
her plea agreement says.
This is the alderman about whom FBI Special Agent Joan Marie Hyde filed an affidavit (page 13) which said, “Well, the thing is, most alderman, most politicians are hos.”
Undoubtedly to other aldermen’s relief, Troutman has not agreed to cooperate in any other investigations of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
This scandal has low income housing fraud.
Republican Congressman Peter Roskam, in his speech against the recently-signed housing bailout act, predicted it would give such discretionary power to city politicians that fraud would be the result.
First taking office in 1992, she was defeated for re-election in 2007.
The Chicago Tribune provides this perspective:
“”Troutman is the first Chicago alderman to be convicted on corruption charges since Percy Giles (37th) in 1999. Between 1972 and 1999, an average of one alderman a year was convicted of wrongdoing.”
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Photos are from past web sites operating by ex-Alderwoman Arenda Troutman. They may be enlarged by clicking on them.