Corrupt Chicago hiring practices alleged

April 11, 2006 at 10:35 AM

CHICAGO, April 11 (UPI) -- The former patronage chief for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley ordered computer files destroyed following FBI questions about hiring practices, prosecutors claim.

While destroying the city records and the personal computer of former Office of Intergovernmental Affairs head Robert Sorich happened in 1997, prosecutors charged Monday that it showed a pattern of covering up illegal city hiring practices. The defendants are to go on trial May 10.

The 93-page Santiago proffer, a written outline of the government's case filed in court Monday, provided the most details to date about federal charges against Sorich; his right-hand man, Timothy McCarthy; and former Streets and Sanitation Department officials Patrick Slattery and John Sullivan, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Prosecutors claimed political and union heavyweights competed to get their people appointed to city jobs.

However, Sorich attorney Thomas Durkin derided the government's claims.

"If it takes them over 90 pages to present a simple Santiago proffer, it ought to be fun watching them present the same stupid theory to a jury," Durkin told the Sun-Times.

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