Two Ex-Cons Running for Cook County Board


Two former city of Chicago officials who went to prison for misconduct are now vying for seats on the Cook County Board.

Former Alderman Ike Carothers, who pleaded guilty to bribery and tax fraud charges in 2010, is running for the 1st District seat. He filed petitions for the seat on Nov. 25.

Monday afternoon, former Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez filed to run for the 4th District seat.

Sanchez held the high profile post under former mayor Richard M. Daley. He was sentenced to two years in prison in the wake of a City Hall hiring scandal in 2011.

Sanchez was convicted of illegally handing out city jobs to political campaign workers.

A spokeswoman for Cook County Clerk David Orr said today that a person representing Sanchez filed the necessary paperwork for the March primary.

Under the law, a person convicted of a crime can not seek office in the venue for which the crime occurred, but can run for an office that is not connected to the crime. Since both were city officials at the time of their misdeeds, they can run for a Cook County office.

Carothers followed his father into office and then into prison. The younger Carothers received a sentence of 28 months after admitting to receiving $40,000 in home improvements in exchange for allowing a developer to build a project in his ward.

Sanchez vehemently denied at trial that he did anything wrong.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will run unopposed in her quest for another term while the man she replaced, Todd Stroger, opted out of filing petitions to run for a spot on the County Board.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, the County Clerk's web site showed that 137 candidates had filed petitions to run in the March primary.

Stroger, who indicated two weeks ago that he would seek the 4th District seat, did not file.

Preckwinkle isn't the only incumbent getting a pass. No one filed to run against Assessor Joe Berrios, Treasurer Maria Pappas and Orr. Sheriff Tom Dart faces three challengers.

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