Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Moreno, Medrano Can't Afford Legal Defense in Bribery Indictment

Two former lawmakers are accused of accepting bribes to sell bandages to public hospitals




    An ex-Alderman and a former Cook County Commissioner indicted on bribery charges cannot afford legal counsel.

    Former Ald. Ambrosio Medrano and former Cook County Commisisoner Joseph Moreno told a federal judge that they would need state assistance to afford legal defense for a 10-count bribery indictment that the two are charged with, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

    The two former politicos were appearing at an arraignment hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Morton Denlow, where they both entered "not guilty" pleas.

    Medrano and Moreno were arrested in June and formally indicted last week in a 10-count indictment for accepting bribes to sell bandages to public hospitals.

    Medrano was first elected to the Chicago City Council in 1991. Five years later, he was the first conviction in the Operation Silver Shovel investigation. He pleaded guilty to bribery charges after being confronted by officials who had him on video accepting $1,000 from a city contractor.

    Medrano entered a separate "not guilty" plea Tuesday for other bribery charges.

    Moreno is also accused of accepting a $5,000 bribe to ensure development of a waste transfer station in Cicero.

    Denlow approved the two lawmakers' requests to receive support for their legal counsel, according to the Sun-Times.