New public corruption charges were leveled Thursday afternoon at former Chicago Ald. Ambrosio Medrano and former Cook County Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno. Both ex-elected officials were arrested on corruption charges in a case that involves five additional defendants.
Medrano should know his way around the federal courthouse. He was convicted in a bribery case more than 15 years ago in connection with Operation Silver Shovel and served 30 months in prison.
Moreno was the 7th District commissioner until being ousted in 2010.
A tight lid was kept on the case. While official notice of the arrests and charges was sent out shortly before 1:30 CDT on Thursday, the records were sealed and no names were provided. In a city where news usually leaks as fast as an antique planter, authorities managed to keep the names of the public officials under the radar until their court appearance. The records were unsealed at that time.
An initial appearance by the defendants was scheduled for 3 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim.
Following the court appearance, U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald and other federal law enforcement officials said they would speak at a news conference about the latest public corruption case in Chicago and Cook County.