MCCOOK, Ill. —FBI agents carried out raids at village halls in at least two southwest suburbs Thursday and visited a third.
Agents raided the village halls of McCook and neighboring Lyons, two democratic strongholds with rich histories of cronyism and patronage. They also carried out “investigative activity” in nearby Summit.
Sources told WGN agents spent several hours inside the McCook village hall. They left with “certain records,” according to the McCook village attorney. He declined to elaborate.
Democratic State Senator Martin Sandoval represents McCook, Lyons, and Summit. Federal agents searched Sandoval’s offices earlier this week, reportedly looking into whether Sandoval, who chairs the senate’s transportation committee, received kickbacks from companies.
But it’s unclear if Thursday’s raids were connected to the Sandoval investigation.
Both McCook and Lyons have earned reputations for cronyism, nepotism and double-dipping.
Jeff Toboloski makes $58,000 as McCook’s village president and another $85,000 and Cook County Commissioner, according to public records.
A Better Government Association database said Tobolski currently has at least seven relatives on his suburb’s payroll.
Lyons village president Christopher Getty operates an insurance business in his town. A reporter for the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark newspaper spotted roughly a dozen federal agents going in and out of the Getty Insurance offices on Ogden Avenue in Lyons One agent told the reporter he was from the IRS’ criminal investigations division.
Federal investigators have been busy lately with as many as half a dozen democrats facing scrutiny. They include Tobolski, Sandoval, Ald. Ed Burke and former Alderman Mike Zalewski. There’s also former alderman Danny Solis who is believed to have flipped and cooperating against some of his former political compatriots.
“If” and “how” the investigations are connected isn’t publicly known.
An FBI spokesperson confirmed the raids in McCook and Lyons today but declined to elaborate.