Former Chicago Alderman Danny Solis' secret deal with feds revealed in new court documents

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A newly-released court document is providing an inside look at the secret deal prosecutors made with former Chicago Alderman Danny Solis.

The new documents are part of a deferred prosecution agreement, or DPA, that federal prosecutors gave to Solis in return for his cooperation. And his cooperation led to two of the biggest political corruption indictments that feds have brought in recent years.

Once a powerful chairman of the zoning committee, the former 25th Ward alderman has been secretly cooperating with the feds for several years.

Solis wore a wire for federal investigators and helped them build a case against fellow alderman Ed Burke. His cooperation also led to corruption charges against former House Speaker Mike Madigan.

Federal court documents filed Tuesday show that a deferred prosecution agreement has been in place with Solis since December 2018, less than a month after the feds raided Burke's alderman offices.

"He's going to be a very important witness," former federal prosecutor Jeff Cramer said. "He was in the eye of the storm, if you will. He was on very important committees as an aldermen. He knows where the bodies are buried."

In the DPA, Solis admitted soliciting and later receiving $15,000 in campaign contributions from three developers in 2015. In exchange, Solis gave his support to a zoning change the developers were seeking.

Solis has agreed to plead guilty to a single count of bribery according to court documents, and he could eventually walk away from this case scot-free based on his cooperation in this and other cases.

"If he testifies truthfully, cooperates completely and doesn't commit any crimes during the pendency of this case, then he doesn't have to deal with this anymore, he's not going to go to prison, it just will go away," Cramer said.

Solis, who was formally charged with the bribery count last week, is set to be arraigned Wednesday morning via telephone, so he will not have to show up at court.

If he fails to fully cooperate in any and all cases where he is needed, the feds could pursue the bribery charge and possibly others against him.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.