Convicted Ald. Isaac "Ike" Carothers today received 28 months in prison for taking bribes in exchange for favorable legislation.
Carothers admitted in February to receiving $40,000 in home improvements in exchange for allowing developer Calvin Boender to build project in his ward, and hiding it from the IRS. Boender pleaded not guilty.
Carothers was accused of accepting home improvements, including new paint, new windows and central air conditioning in return for supporting the Galewood Yards project. He reportedly began cooperating with authorities last summer and secretly recorded others suspected in the ongoing probe.
The alderman's plea agreement indicated he also accepted two $10,000 cash payments for helping an individual to secure permits for two carnivals in his ward. He further admitted accepting $40,000 in cash payments from developer Wally Aiyash to influence his development of property in the area.
In another transaction, Carothers says he accepted $15,500 from another individual, who was actually a cooperating government witness, to reward him for backing zoning changes in the ward. The alderman said he later became uncomfortable with those payments and gave the money back.
"I have yet to meet a perfect human being," said Carothers' attorney Jeffrey Steinbeck after his plea. "From the bottom of his heart, he deeply regrets what he's done here."
He must also pay $17,773 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and forfeit $40,000.