Streets & San Chief's Trial Wrapping Up

Case could go to jury by end of day

Closing arguments got under way Wednesday morning in the corruption trial of Al Sanchez, the former commissioner of Chicago's Streets and Sanitation Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Ruder is presenting the prosecution's case, accusing Sanchez of getting jobs and promotions for members of Mayor Daley’s Hispanic Democratic Organization in exchange for their political work.

"Over and over again, Al Sanchez schemed with others to trade city jobs for political work," Ruder said. "Interviews were a sham ... paperwork was phonied up ... to make it appear the process was legitimate."

Ruder said hiring in Streets and San was devoted to "pay off political workers ... who had proved their loyalty ... with city jobs."

She called Streets and San's hiring "a deep and abiding corruption that grew and grew." Sanchez didn't even bother to have favored political workers interviewed, Ruder said, instead hand-picking them for jobs in the department.

Ruder reminded the jury that the secretary of Robert Sorchich -- the mayor's patronage chief who went to prison for his role in a corrupt hiring scheme -- testified that she kept track of names Sanchez recommended for jobs.

The trial judge expects the case to go to the jury by end of the day.

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