Isaac 'Ike' Carothers, former Alderman, convicted felon running for Cook County Board

Former Alderman Isaac 'Ike' Carothers, who served time in prison for bribery and tax fraud charges in 2010, plans to run for the 1st District seat on the Cook County Board.
December 13, 2013 3:00:11 PM PST
Issac 'Ike' Carothers, 59, was released from federal prison in September 2011. Carothers explains why he wants back in the game during an exclusive interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News.

''I'm the first to say I made a terrible mistake. I'm very remorseful for it and I regret it every single day,'' said Issac Carothers.

The former Alderman of the 29th Ward served 11 months in federal prison and doesn't deny accepting bribes and $40 thousand worth of renovations to his home on the West Side of Chicago in exchange for fixing a crooked developer's zoning case.

''I've learned from my experience of being away. It's something that I never want to encounter again. I'd like to rectify it by moving things further along,'' Carothers said.''

Carothers joins a primary field that's crowded with five other candidates all vying to represent Chicago's far West Side and near western suburbs.

''All of my life, I've been involved in public service and that's what I like to do,'' Carothers said.''

Cook County Commissioner Candidate Richard Boykin of Oak Park questions whether voters can trust Carothers.

''I don't think that there's been a period of time since his incarceration where he's actually been able to win the public trust back,'' Boykin said.

Alderman Emma Mitts of the 37th Ward is throwing support behind her one-time mentor and former council colleague Ike Carothers.

''I'm just one of those who doesn't turn my back on folks who helped me,'' Mitts said. ''We did an awful lot in the 29th Ward. We built schools. We built senior housing. We brought very huge infrastructure projects,'' she said.

As Alderman, Carothers served in the shadow of his father William, who has been serving time in prison for the past 29 years for corruption.

His son, Ike, is now an expert on second chances. Since his prison release, Carothers has been working as an account executive for The Safer Foundation, which helps ex-convicts find jobs.

''I believe in a God that believes in second chances and I hope that the voters in this district will give me a second chance,'' Carothers said.

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