If you had to compile a list of corrupt politicians, it would probably overwhelmingly be full of Democrats.
They aren’t afraid to lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want.
Jeffrey Tobolski, former Cook County Commissioner, didn’t see a problem with any of it.
He’s been charged by the feds with extortion and filing a false tax return!
The Chicago Tribune broke the story on Tobolski’s crimes:
Former Cook County commissioner and McCook Mayor Jeffrey Tobolski was charged in federal court Friday with conspiracy to commit extortion and filing a false tax return.
The two-count criminal information filed against Tobolski marked the latest domino to fall in a sprawling federal corruption investigation that has touched some of the Democratic Party’s key suburban political players — including Tobolski’s own chief of staff and fellow local mayor Louis Presta.
According to the bare-bones charges, Tobolski allegedly conspired with an unnamed McCook official to extort a victim identified only as Individual A by using “actual and threatened fear of economic harm.”
He also allegedly filed a falsified income tax return for 2018, reporting his income for that year as $214,000 when his actual income was “substantially” higher, according to the paperwork.
Defendants charged by criminal information typically intend to plead guilty.
His attorney, James Vanzant, declined to comment. An arraignment date had not been set as of Friday.
Tobolski, who resigned from the county board and from his post as McCook village president in March, could not immediately be reached for comment.
He had been under a cloud since FBI agents raided the McCook village headquarters on Sept. 26. The raid came on the same day when federal law enforcement authorities descended on the Village Hall in nearby Lyons and two days after raids on the offices and home of state Sen. Martin Sandoval, a Chicago Democrat whose district includes both towns.
Agents were looking for evidence including information about a clout-heavy suburban contractor, a local strip club, the town’s police chief, and heating and air conditioning work done on Tobolski’s home, the Tribune previously has reported. The raid also targeted Tobolski’s computer hard drives and items linked to the village exposition center.
In March, Tobolski’s longtime chief of staff, Patrick Doherty, was charged in a three-count federal indictment for conspiring to pay bribes to a help get red-light cameras installed in Oak Lawn. Doherty has pleaded not guilty.
Presta, the mayor of nearby Crestwood, was charged earlier this month with accepting bribes to promote red-light camera company SafeSpeed and then lying about it to the FBI. He too has pleaded not guilty, though he’s expected to change his plea later this year.
Sandoval, meanwhile, pleaded guilty in January to bribery and tax charges, admitting he took money from a representative of SafeSpeed in exchange for acting as the company’s “protector” in the state legislature. Sandoval has agreed to cooperate in the investigation.
State election records show that Tobolski paid more than $200,000 in legal fees from his campaign fund to two law firms, including the firm representing him in the criminal matter. The payments were made shortly after he resigned from his elected posts.
Though the charges against Tobolski are contained in only two paragraphs, earlier paperwork shows federal authorities were seeking a laundry list of evidence when they descended on McCook’s village center last fall.
A Justice Department property receipt from that raid shows authorities seized checks related to the “Pub Max project.” The restaurant was part of the McCook Athletic & Exposition Center facility until it closed in 2018 and was replaced with another eatery.
Authorities also sought items related to “Latino Night at the Max” and “Chicago Cubs Spring training trips,” and benefits provided by an unnamed law firm or lawyer.
Many of the individuals and entities in the McCook documents mirrored those in the search of Sandoval’s office, including a video gambling operator who had sought state approval to build a southwest suburban horse track and casino.
The gambling operator has since been sent a “nontarget” letter from the U.S. attorney’s office informing him he is unlikely to be criminally charged.
FBI agents also sought evidence concerning Michael Thiessen, president of the Lyons Township trustees of schools and principal in the development company behind the Max and other sporting venues in Illinois and Texas. Other names revealed in the McCook search warrant included Simo “Sam” Krneta, a La Grange Park contractor whose company, Renovation Associates, has done many projects for McCook.
Among Krneta’s jobs was the 2018 renovation of the Alta Grill restaurant inside the McCook Athletic & Exposition Center facility, also known as The Max, records show.
The McCook search warrants showed the FBI also removed documents about AllStar Bar and Grill, an adult entertainment establishment on 47th Street. Documents related to police Chief Mario DePasquale were also removed, as were other records pertaining to “air conditioning and/or heating” at Tobolski’s residence, according to the documents.
That’s a huge list of other Democrats that are also involved in the scandal!
It almost makes you wonder if it would be a good idea to investigate every Democrat in the Chicago area.
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Watch the news report on Tobolski right here: