Prosecutors subpoena Cullerton records in union corruption probe

  • State Sen. Tom Cullerton, right, speaks during a meeting of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs March 5, 2018, in Chicago.

    State Sen. Tom Cullerton, right, speaks during a meeting of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs March 5, 2018, in Chicago. Erin Brown/Sun Times via AP

 
Daily Herald report

Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed documents involving Democratic state Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into extortion by the former head of the Chicago's Teamsters labor union, according to media reports.

A federal grand jury issued the Feb. 5 subpoena seeking Cullerton's personnel file and records of his legislative attendance, reimbursements for travel, lodging, meals, cellphone and vehicle allowances, and "all emails to and from" him between Feb. 1, 2013, and March 31, 2016, according to reports on WBEZ and in the Chicago Tribune.

During that time, Cullerton received $182,800 as an organizer for Teamsters Joint Council 25, according to his state economic interest statements and union spending reports filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Cullerton, 49, has not been accused of wrongdoing.

The federal investigation led to a 13-count extortion and tax fraud indictment in 2017 against the union's former president, John Coli Sr., who headed it from 2002 to 2017. He is accused of trying to extract $350,000 in kickbacks from two firms. He has pleaded not guilty and his case is pending.

State campaign records show Teamsters Joint Council 25 and Teamsters-affiliated groups donated at least $95,000 to Cullerton from 2012 to 2018.

Cullerton, chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, has declined media requests for comment, as has the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago.

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