Lyons public meeting leaves residents frustrated days after FBI raids

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LYONS, Ill. — Residents in Lyons left a City Hall meeting frustrated Tuesday evening. The meeting came just days after the town’s City Hall was raided by federal agents.

The village’s monthly public meeting started at 7 p.m. and was over by 7:06 p.m. Those residents who wanted to say a few words were not allowed to speak.

The FBI raided the town halls of Lyons, McCook and Summit, and just days before that, raided the Cicero and Springfield offices of Sen. Martin Sandoval.

Sources said federal agents are looking into whether Sandoval, who chairs the senate’s transportation committee, received kickbacks from construction companies.

Lyons, McCook and Summit all lie within Sandoval's district. It is not clear if the raids were related.

As a WGN reporter interviewed Earl Johnson, a Lyons resident who is an outspoken critic of Mayor Christopher Getty, a man who residents said is an ally of Getty walked by and spilled soda as the on-camera interview was conducted. He then set off his car alarm.

Critics of Getty said the man serves on the zoning board. When asked by the WGN reporter why he was spilling soda and setting off his alarm, the man refused to respond and did not identify himself.

"This is long overdue," Johnson said. "Something that we've been hoping for. I hope they continue to dig."

After the public meeting, Getty went into a conference room and never re-emerged.

Sandoval, 55, has served in the Senate since 2003, representing a district on Chicago's southwest side. He is chairman of the powerful Transportation Committee and was a driving force behind a 19-cents-a-gallon increase in the gas tax to help fund Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker's $45 billion capital construction plan to rebuild roads, bridges and schools.

Republicans criticized him in August when a photo from a fundraiser appeared on social media showing what appeared to be a mock assassination of President Donald Trump.

Sandoval later said neither he nor his staff was aware that an entertainment vendor had a beverage dispenser shaped like a rifle and pointed it at someone wearing a Trump mask. He expressed "my deepest regret that this unfortunate incident took place at (an) event in my name."

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