Bloomingdale Township highway commissioner under federal investigation

  • Robert Czernek

    Robert Czernek

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 1/21/2020 8:09 PM

Federal investigators are looking into the actions of Bloomingdale Township Highway Commissioner Robert Czernek, township officials confirmed Tuesday, but they remained mum about exactly what the probe entails.

Township Supervisor Michael Hovde issued a one-sentence statement saying, "The township supervisor's office is fully cooperating with the investigation into the road district commissioner and due to the nature and stage of the investigation, no further information can be released at this time."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Hovde would not say if federal authorities were in any township offices on Tuesday. He said officials plan to say more Wednesday.

The FBI told ABC 7 it conducted court-authorized law enforcement activities in the Bloomingdale area, but was not specific.

Czernek, who is in his second term as highway commissioner, could not be reached for comment. A person was seen entering his Bloomingdale house early Tuesday evening, but nobody answered the door.

The probe comes amid a spiraling federal investigation unfolding in Chicago and the suburbs.

This fall, FBI agents raided former state Sen. Martin Sandoval's office in Springfield, along with the villages of Lyons, McCook and Summit. Sandoval, a Cicero Democrat who chaired the transportation committee, resigned from the Senate in November. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

An FBI search warrant indicates investigators were interested in items related to highway and construction companies, red-light cameras, lobbyists and communications with Illinois Department of Transportation officials.

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Oakbrook Terrace Mayor Tony Ragucci, meanwhile, resigned Friday, just weeks after news surfaced that federal agents had seized $60,000 in cash from his house last year. Ragucci has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Ragucci drew scrutiny from federal agents because of his town's use of the company SafeSpeed to operate red-light cameras. SafeSpeed is a focus of the ongoing federal investigation, with agents looking into whether company representatives landed deals through payoffs.

Bloomingdale Township does not use red-light cameras.

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