Developer Convicted of Bribing Alderman

Federal jury convicts Calvin Boender on five counts of bribery and obstruction of justice

A federal jury has convicted a Chicago developer of bribing an alderman in exchange for his support on a West Side project.

Jurors deliberated for less than a day before convicting Calvin Boender, 55, on one count of bribery and two counts each of illegal campaign contributions and obstruction of justice. Boender faces up to 32 years in prison, but he is likely to get a much lesser term
under federal sentencing guidelines.

Boender was accused of bribing then-Ald. Isaac "Ike" Carothers with roughly $40,000 in home improvements, meals and tickets to a White Sox playoff game to win a zoning change for the Galewood Yards development.

Boender's attorney Robert Sanger argued that the home improvements were not directly related to the zoning change, saying
Carothers pushed it through as a neighborhood improvement.

Federal prosecutors Brandon Fox and Manish Shah presented jurors with documents ranging from checks showing Boender paid for the home improvements to a bogus invoice they accused Boender of cooking up to try to show that Carothers had been billed for the work.

"We felt strongly about our evidence and obviously the jury thought so, too," Fox said to reporters as he left the courthouse.

Carothers last month pleaded guilty in the case and is cooperating with prosecutors, though he was not called as a witness in Boender's trial.  He has resigned from the City Council.

Sanger had said he might call Mayor Richard M. Daley and 10 aldermen to testify for the defense, but in the end, he called none
of them.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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