Sanchez Sentenced to 30 Months - NBC Chicago

Sanchez Sentenced to 30 Months

Former commissioner will appeal



    Former Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in prison even as his lawyer argued this week's disaster on Lake Shore Drive wouldn't have happened under Sanchez's direction. (Published Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011)

    Former streets and sanitation commissioner Al Sanchez on Thursday was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

    U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman imposed the sentence, saying Sanchez, 63, was a leader in a sham city hiring scheme that ended up politicizing truck drivers.

    "The process was rotten to the core," Gettleman said.

    But Gettleman gave Sanchez credit for being a Vietnam veteran, for working tirelessly at the helm of streets and sanitation and for being an advocate for minority groups. Gettleman also noted Sanchez is battling illness.

    Sanchez’s lawyers had argued a term of no time in prison was appropriate.

    Sanchez denied the allegations and said it was no secret how City Hall hiring worked.  He said he wrongly took the fall for it.

    A federal jury in July convicted Sanchez of illegally handing out city jobs to political campaign workers.

    That ruling marked the second time Sanchez was found guilty in the case. In 2009, a judge threw out the conviction because it was determined defense attorneys should have been notified about the arrest record and gang affiliations of a key witness.

    Sanchez said he will appeal the decision, but is currently scheduled to report to prison on May 9.