Ed Hammer, 'One Hundred Percent Guilty'

October 28, 2010 4:56:48 AM PDT
Veteran cops, Ed Hammer and Russ Sonneveld had a job to investigate crimes committed by state employees.

What they uncovered was a pattern of bribes for licenses that filtered cash to the campaign war chest of their boss, George Ryan. Ryan and his cronies covered up the bribery scheme along with other crimes. Then a fatal crash occurred. Reverend Scott Willis and his wife Janet watched as their children burned to death in the family van. Hammer and Sonneveld linked that accident to the bribery fundraising scheme. It was politics as usual, Illinois style. Ryan was eventually elected Governor. Then federal authorities began looking into Hammer's and Sonneveld's allegations uncovering a dishonest governor and his crooked political organization. Finally, thirteen years after the death of the six children and 76 convictions later, Ryan began his serving a six and one half years sentence in a federal prison.This is the story through Ed Hammer's eyes of the events the led to Ryan's demise.

About the Author

Ed Hammer is a retired captain from the Department of Police, Illinois Secretary of State with 27 years experience as a sworn law enforcement officer. During his career, he primarily worked investigations on auto theft, identity theft and public corruption. Many of the public corruption cases involved state employees working in the driver's license services bureau who illegally issued driver's licenses and identification cards to identity thieves, drug dealers, undocumented aliens and underage drinkers. Those public corruption investigations culminated in a federal case now known as Operation Safe Roads resulting in the conviction 76 individuals. The testimony of Hammer and his partner, Russ Sonneveld, ultimately help convict former Illinois Governor George Ryan on charges of obstruction. Hammer has a B.A, in sociology. He likewise did graduate work in Public Administration and Criminal Justice. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a Certified Fraud Specialist (Association of Certified Fraud Specialists.) Mr. Hammer can be contacted through his website, www.consulthammer.com.


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