Alderman’s Former Chief of Staff Sentenced to 15 Months for Accepting $7,500 Bribe
CHICAGO—A former chief of staff for a Chicago alderman was sentenced today to 15 months in prison for accepting a $7,500 cash bribe in exchange for obtaining the alderman’s letter of support for a license to sell alcohol in the alderman’s ward. The defendant, CURTIS V. THOMPSON, JR., 63, of Chicago, pled guilty in December 2014 to federal program bribery, in accepting a bribe from an individual who claimed he wanted to open a convenience store but was actually a cooperating witness in an FBI undercover investigation. U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan also sentenced Thompson to one year of supervision after his release and to forfeit $7,500, the amount of the bribe. Thompson was ordered to surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on September 1, 2015.
According to court documents, Thompson accepted 75 $100 bills in a Christmas card that the cooperating witness gave him at the alderman’s holiday party in December 2013. Thompson admitted that he used the money he received to pay personal expenses.
“Over the years, time and time again, officials have demonstrated their greed,” said Judge Der-Yeghiayan while imposing sentence. “His job was to serve the citizens of Chicago, and he did not.”
“He (Thompson) readily joined the ranks of corrupt public officials who have chosen to line their pockets at the public’s expense,” argued Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Church in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “He gave the residents of Chicago one more reason to doubt its leaders and public officials; one more reason to question the legitimacy of their municipal government; and one more reason to give into the cynicism of a “where’s mine?”
The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Megan Church and Bethany Biesenthal.