CHICAGO — It’s no secret former Chicago Ald. Danny Solis has been working with federal prosecutors as a mole; but now for the first time we’re seeing the document in which Solis admitted to the bribery scheme that ensnared the once powerful and popular politician.
The U.S. Attorney’s office has finally published its 2018 deferred prosecution agreement with Danny Solis that gave them the leverage they needed to get Solis to wear a wire and cooperate in several investigations that eventually helped build separate cases against former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and Chicago Ald. Ed Burke, who continues to hang-on to elected office while awaiting trial.
In a document titled “Admissions by Daniel Solis” he admits he accepted a total of $15,000 in campaign contributions in 2015 from three people who worked for the same development company who were seeking a zoning change for a restaurant from Solis and the City Council.
“Mr. Solis solicited the campaign contributions from Developer A in part as a reward, in the form of campaign contributions, for his assistance,” the document states.
Earlier this month, federal prosecutors formally charged Solis with bribery. Last summer, the Chicago Tribune reported that Solis secretly recorded the now-indicted Michael Madigan on a number of occasions.
Some of the secret recordings reportedly took place at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. According to the Tribune, part of the focus during those conversations involved a Chinatown property and a deal to build a parking garage.
The Chicago Sun-Times said Solis also secretly recorded fellow Ald. Ed Burke as part of a cooperation deal, which led to the longtime 14th Ward alderman’s indictment.
In 2019, WGN News reported that Solis was still collecting a $95,000 city pension. He could receive it for the rest of his life unless he’s convicted of a felony related to his service as an alderman.
Solis represented the 25th Ward from 1996 to 2019. The deferred prosecutor agreement says Solis faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine; however his cooperation is expected to reduce the penalty.
Read the filing below.