Ex-Daley aide sentenced to prison
Tribune staff report
Published November 20, 2006, 5:23 PM CST
Mayor Richard Daley's former patronage chief was sentenced today to 46 months in federal prison for his role in a hiring fraud scheme at City Hall. He was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
Robert Sorich showed no emotion as U.S. District Judge David H. Coar delivered a tongue-lashing.
The offense is corruption — corruption with a capital C,'' Coar said. "For people to owe their jobs to political advancement rather than performance on the job stinks.
"I don't give a hoot whether this has been going on for 200 years," the judge said. "It still stinks.''
As Coar handed down Sorich's sentence, the former City Hall insider stood stiff-lipped while his wife and mother broke down behind him.
Sorich could have received as much as 57 months in prison, but Coar gave him the lowest end of the sentencing range.
Prior to the reading of his sentence, Sorich said, "I just want to stand before the court and my family and friends and let them know I am not a broken man."
He did not apologize or otherwise accept responsibility for the crimes a federal jury found he committed.
Sorich and three other former city officials were convicted in July in a trial that highlighted the inner workings of the mayor's political machine.
Prosecutors say Daley aides rigged hiring for thousands of city jobs and promotions in favor of political loyalists. The scheme allegedly was designed to enhance Daley's political power.
Lawyers for Sorich and his three co-defendants in the trial have argued that the requested sentences are unduly harsh.
They have noted that city workers convicted of taking bribes received relatively short sentences.
Sorich and Timothy McCarthy, his former aide in the mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, were each convicted on two counts of mail fraud.
Former Streets and Sanitation official Patrick Slattery was convicted of one count of mail fraud, while John Sullivan, a former Streets and Sanitation managing deputy commissioner, was found guilty of one count of lying to federal agents about political hiring.
Today, Slattery was sentenced to 27 months in prison, while Sullivan was given two months in custody and two months of home confinement.