Charged with accepting $40,000 in home improvements in exchange for his support of a zoning change sought by a local developer, Alderman Issac "Ike" Carothers appeared for arraignment in federal court this morning.
His attorney entered a plea of not guilty.
In charges announced May 28, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald alleged the 29th Ward alderman accepted not only the home improvements, but other gifts including sports tickets, and that Carothers failed to disclose the payments in violation of federal law.
Carother's attorney, Lawrence Beaumont, issued a statement following the court hearing in which he said, "My client ... is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt ... and we will seek to aggressively defend him under this presumption."
The alderman also made a brief statement in which he said he intends to review all his legal options with his attorney, after the discovery process --- a review of evidence provided by the U.S. Attorney's office -- is completed
Following the indictment last month, he told fellow councilmen that things were not as they appear.
He is the chair of the powerful City Council Police and Fire Commitee.
Carothers wore a wire for a year to help federal prosecutors in their probe of the developer in the case, Calvin Boender.