Former mayoral aide guilty of corruption

July 6, 2006 at 6:52 PM

CHICAGO, July 6 (UPI) -- A federal jury has convicted a former top aide to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and three other ex-city officials of handing out jobs for political favors.

Robert Sorich, a former key figure in Intergovernmental Affairs little known outside City Hall, was the mayor's patronage chief, the Chicago Tribune said.

He was convicted of two counts of mail fraud and acquitted on two other mail fraud charges, in an alleged scheme to hand out jobs and promotions to political campaign workers over more qualified applicants -- despite a federal court decree against the practice.

Also convicted in the five-week trial were Timothy McCarthy, Sorich's former deputy, and former Streets and Sanitation Department employee Patrick Slattery. John Sullivan, a former city worker, was convicted of lying to FBI agents investigating the patronage operation.

Former hiring officials in city departments testified Sorich kept "blessed lists" of job candidates, but defense attorneys said the Intergovernmental Affairs official made recommendations and did not order that people be hired.

Daley was interviewed by the FBI in August but was not accused of any wrongdoing.

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