RIVERDALE, Ill. — A day before the mayor’s house was raided by the FBI, federal prosecutors sent a subpoena to the village of Riverdale for business records related to a company at the center of a yearslong legal fight over garbage pickup in the south suburb.
Mayor Lawrence Jackson’s home was raided by the feds on May 10. A day earlier, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago sent Riverdale the subpoena, a copy of which was obtained by WGN Investigates through the Freedom of Information Act.
Jackson and the village are currently fighting a lawsuit brought against them by Tri-State Disposal, a waste transfer facility that has accused the mayor of improperly allowing a similar facility — Riverdale Materials — to open nearby without being subject to the same requirements as Tri-State. That lawsuit, filed in 2018, is still pending in federal court in Chicago.
Riverdale Materials is owned by Kelly Bracken, state records show. Along with that company, she and her husband, James Bracken III, own nine more businesses named in the subpoena. The registered agent for each of those companies is Michael Synowiecki, an attorney and lobbyist in Chicago. The Brackens and Synowiecki did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Mark LaRose, an attorney for Tri-State Disposal, said he was “not surprised” by the subpoena or the raid on Jackson’s home but declined to comment further.
John Wise, an attorney representing Riverdale and Jackson in the civil suit, said in an emailed statement: “The Village can confirm that it received the subpoena, however the U.S. Attorney’s Office has not informed the Village of the nature or subject of the investigation.”
Reached by phone, Jackson declined to comment.
Federal prosecutors requested contracts, invoices, records of payment and communications involving Brackens and their companies between January 2016 and April 2022. The feds also want records related to Riverdale Materials’ operations and the village’s Zoning Board of Approval.
Records from the Illinois State Board of Elections show the Brackens have contributed more than $340,000 to various local politicians’ campaigns since 2004.
David Webb, the former Markham mayor, was sentenced to two years in federal prison last year after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax return. His campaign received more than $35,000 in contributions from Brackenbox between 2006 and 2015.
Jackson’s campaign committee, meanwhile, has received more than $33,000 in contributions from companies tied to the Brackens since 2017.
Three of the Brackens’ companies — Brackenbox, Utility Transport Service and KLF Enterprises — were awarded several contracts from the city of Chicago worth, in total, more than $222 million since 2009, according to city records.