FBI agents raided offices of the longtime 12th District State Senator Martin Sandoval at both his statehouse offices and his office in Cicero north of Chicago. A press release from his office said the Affirming and Inclusive Schools Task Force has been created, and two co-chairs, along with 25 members, are assigned to it. A Chicago Tribune reporter tried to reach Sandoval at his home earlier today, but a man answered the door and said he was not home. The suite door to Sandoval’s office would not open when an Associated Press reporter tried to enter at around the time the raid was taking place. Attempts to reach Sandoval by phone were unsuccessful.
Several men in dark suits and ties could be seen walking from the Senate Democrats’ side of the Capitol, carrying the bags and boxes of materials. The word “evidence” could be seen written across at least one of the bags. Sandoval, 55, has served in the Senate since 2003, representing a district on Chicago’s southwest side. He is chairman of the powerful Transportation Committee and was a driving force behind an 18-cent increase in the gas tax to help fund Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s $45 billion capital construction plan to rebuild roads, bridges and schools. Republicans criticized him in August when a photo from a fundraiser appeared on social media showing what appeared to be a mock assassination of President Donald Trump.
It wasn’t clear whether Sandoval’s work on the gas tax plan or his fundraiser had anything to do with the raids. The raids on current lawmakers may be linked to disgraced power broker and lobbyist Victor Reyes, who was recorded by the FBI in a racketeering scandal with former Chicago Alderman Danny Solis. Reyes had made over 1 million dollars in donations around the state to 303 separate campaign committees since 2005 including to campaigns and political action committees involving Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, State Senator Antonio Munoz, Sttate Senator Andy Manar, State Senator Bill Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor Julianna Stratton, disgraced State Senator Tom Cullerton, Heather Steans, former State Senator and acting director of Illinois Veteran Affairs Linda Chapa LaVia, Kirk Dillard, Chuy Garcia, disgraced Alderman Ed Burke, Secretary of State Jesse White and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. For the full list, follow the link here.
WLDS/WEAI will update this story about the investigation against Sandoval as more comes available.