Carothers Pleads Guilty

Carothers' aldermanic seat immediately vacant with guilty plea

On Monday, Ald. Isaac "Ike" Carothers became the 29th alderman to be found guilty of illegal hijinks at City Hall.

Carothers admitted 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.

Ten other aldermen have been subpoenaed to testify in the upcoming trial of Carothers' co-defendant.

Five of them, Alds. Ed Burke, Eugene Schulter, Ed Smith, Bernard Stone, and former alderman William Banks, were members of the zoning committee which eventually approved the project known as Galewood Yards.

Five other aldermen, Walter Burnett, Emma Mitts, Ricardo Munoz, Patrick O'Connor, and Helen Shiller have also been called to testify.

The city law department is fighting all 10 subpoenas.

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 indicates 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. "From the bottom of his heart, he deeply regrets what he's done here."  

Carother's 29th ward aldermanic seat immediately became vacant after the plea. 

He'll be sentenced to 28 months in prison in return for his cooperation -- half the low end of the sentencing guideline
range. He must also pay $17,773 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and forfeit $40,000.

Boender's trial is due to begin March 8.

Contact Us