State Sen. Thomas Cullerton’s federal embezzlement case set for trial in early 2022


State Sen. Thomas Cullerton is about to go to trial on federal embezzlement costs early in 2022, greater than a 12 months after his authentic trial date.

U.S. District Decide Robert Gettleman on Tuesday stated Cullerton’s trial would start Feb. 22. The decide additionally stated he is perhaps prepared to start out it sooner if different trials on his calendar are canceled.

Cullerton had been set to face a jury final July on the embezzlement costs he’s confronted since 2019. However his trial was scuttled by the coronavirus pandemic together with many others.

Now, there are no less than three public corruption instances set to go to trial within the subsequent 10 months as judges transfer to catch up. Bloomingdale Township Highway District Commissioner Robert Czernek is about for trial in a kickback case Aug. 9. And Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta faces trial Dec. 6 in a case revolving across the red-light digicam firm SafeSpeed.

Two further senators have joined Cullerton since 2019 in going through legal costs in federal court docket — Martin Sandoval and Terry Hyperlink have been every charged in separate instances in 2020. Cullerton stays within the Senate whereas Sandoval and Hyperlink resigned. Sandoval died in December, and Hyperlink has pleaded responsible to submitting a false earnings tax return.

The case in opposition to Cullerton revolves round his function as an organizer for Teamsters Joint Council 25. He landed that job after his former employer, Hostess Manufacturers, shut down in 2012. Former Teamsters boss John Coli informed prosecutors he organized for Cullerton to get that job “however didn’t consider the employment was professional,” Cullerton’s protection legal professional has stated.

Cullerton has been accused of gathering $188,320 in wage, bonuses and cellphone and automobile allowances from the Teamsters, in addition to $64,068 in well being and pension contributions, whereas doing little or no work for the labor union. He additionally allegedly collected $21,678 in reimbursed medical claims.

Coli pleaded responsible in 2019 in an extortion case revolving round $325,000 in money funds he acquired from Cinespace Chicago Movie Studios between 2014 and 2017. He agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors, and Cullerton was charged days later.

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