Watchdog group says probe Hastert deal

Nov. 28, 2006 at 9:59 AM

CHICAGO, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- House Speaker Dennis Hastert may have broken the law by pushing for federal funding of the Prairie Parkway west of Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune reports the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has requested the Justice Department look into a land deal that earned Hastert and two partners more than $3 million in profits last year.

CREW executive director Melanie Sloan told the paper Hastert appears to have used the legislative process for his "own personal benefit."

A Hastert aide refused to comment. But after a report by the Tribune this summer, Ron Bonjean called the deal a "well-timed investment." The spokesman said Hastert pushed the Prairie Parkway legislation for 26 years to meet transportation needs in northeast Illinois.

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