CHICAGO (STMW) -- A pal of Cicero Town President Larry Dominick pleaded guilty Monday to dodging more than $400,000 in taxes.
But plumber George Hunter — whose sewer business has received more than $1.8 million from Cicero taxpayers without a contract — hasn't signed a plea deal with prosecutors.
Instead, Hunter, 59, entered a "blind plea," admitting his guilt on two counts of tax evasion without any formal agreement with prosecutors.
His lawyer claimed at the time of his indictment last year that Hunter was only targeted by the feds as payback because he'd refused to cooperate with the FBI against Dominick.
But Hunter, dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt in court Monday, admitted in a raspy voice to U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve that he'd paid workers at his business, Superior Sewer Solution, in cash to rip off the taxman.
"Guilty, your honor," he said when asked how he intended to plead.
Dominick's political opponents have repeatedly alleged that Dominick was a partner in Hunter's business, Superior Sewer Solution, which failed to pay taxes in 2007 and 2008, and which the Sun-Times in 2011 reported got nearly $2 million in work from Cicero without bidding for contracts.
Dominick has denied having any business dealings with Hunter, who declined to comment as he left court in tears Monday.
But in court depositions for a lawsuit previously filed by one of Dominick's brothers against the town, several people testified Hunter and Dominick were partners in a sewer business in the 1990s.
And after Hunter starting getting money from Cicero, the plumber bought Dominick's Stickney home for $100,000 more than the town president paid for it.
The feds in 2012 used a grand jury subpoena to grab records of Hunter's company's dealings with Cicero. It was a highly profitable business, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Donovan, who on Monday said that Superior made profits of more than $1.1 million on revenue of $1.6 million over a two-year period.
Hunter faces up to five years in prison and fines of $250,000 on each of two counts, plus payment of the dodged taxes, when he is sentenced in March.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
for more features.