From KKD: Back to now: Names of Cook County judges charged with corruption c. 1991/Greylord

In case we never forget Greylord in Chicago where 45 judges, police and attorneys were indicted for corruption (in just one area, traffic court, other areas were not invovled) Ken Ditkowsky reminds us of the following Tribune article:



Three years after Operation Greylord investigators went public with stunning charges of judicial corruption, a federal indictment released Wednesday charges, Cook County Judge Adam N. Stillo Sr. conspired to fix a criminal case secretly filed by the FBI.

Stillo, 74, is the second Cook County judge to be indicted on bribery charges in the last week and the 20th indicted in federal court since Operation Greylord. Fifteen judges were convicted and two acquitted in Greylord cases.

On Friday, retired Criminal Court Judge Thomas J. Maloney, in a case stemming from the Operation Gambat probe of 1st Ward corruption, was charged with taking bribes to fix three murder cases. Earlier that week, David J. Shields, former presiding judge of Chancery Court, was convicted by a federal jury of taking $6,000 in bribes in 1988 to rule favorably in a civil suit concocted by the FBI in connection with Gambat.

Asked if recent events meant Operation Greylord did not substantially deter judicial corruption, U.S. Atty. Fred Foreman said: ”Unfortunately, I think the results of the past week speak for themselves, and probably speak louder than anything I could say.”

Stillo, now retired after 24 years on the bench, also was charged with racketeering for allegedly accepting bribes to fix a series of cases for three corrupt lawyers from about 1976 until 1987, Foreman disclosed.

The indictment also charged Stillo`s nephew, attorney Joseph T. Stillo, 45, with conspiring to commit extortion by acting as a ”bagman” for the judge in 1986 in the bogus FBI case, Foreman said at a news conference in the Dirksen Federal Building. Both Stillos live in River Forest.

The indictment charged Judge Stillo with taking bribes from about 1976 until 1983 to fix cases for three lawyers: Robert Cooley, who began cooperating with the government in 1986 after nearly two decades as a corrupt Chicago lawyer; William Swano, who pleaded guilty last July to allegedly bribing Maloney in two murder cases; and James Costello, who was sentenced to 8 years in prison in 1986 for paying bribes to Judge Wayne Olson.

Reading further, the indictment alleged than in one case, Judge Stillo himself acted as a bagman, agreeing to pass a bribe from one lawyer to an unnamed assistant state`s attorney ”to influence that individual in the performance of his offical duties.”

The most damaging charge against Stillo appears to be the phony FBI case, in which a fictitious James D. Hess was accused of possession of marijuana, improper lane usage, speeding, failure to signal and illegal transportation of an alcoholic beverage.

Cooley acted as Hess` lawyer and apparently captured incriminating remarks from both Stillos on a tape recorder he secretly wore.

State police drafted a phony report saying Hess was stopped by a state trooper on Aug. 20, 1986, for the traffic offenses on the Eisenhower Expressway near Hillside.

When the trooper searched the car, the phony report said, more than 10 grams of marijuana was discovered.

In a meeting with Cooley in the Maywood branch of Circuit Court on Oct. 6, 1988, Stillo, who had been assigned the Hess case, agreed to rule in Cooley`s favor in return for an undisclosed amount of money, the indictment charged.

At that meeting, Stillo allegedly told Cooley to contact the judge`s nephew to arrange details of the bribe, the government said.

But on Nov. 5, 1986, Judge Stillo convicted Hess on narcotics charges.

The government contends Stillo correctly figured out that Hess was an undercover FBI agent and that the case was a ”plant” by the FBI to uncover court corruption, the indictment said.

Yet Joseph Stillo apparently still trusted Cooley, according to the charges, because that same day he confided to Cooley that his uncle did not fix the case because he thought Hess looked ”like an FBI agent.”

Two days later, Judge Stillo confirmed his reasons for failing to deliver the fix in a personal meeting with Cooley, the indictment alleged.

At the same time, the judge acted to conceal the conspiracy by telling Cooley of the need for secrecy in handling bribes and questioning Cooley about whether he had discussed the fix with anyone, the charges said.

In November, Stillo sentenced Hess to a $50 fine and supervision, though he could have been fined $1,000 and sentenced to a year in jail.

The indictment disclosed that in August 1986, before Cooley approached Judge Stillo about the Hess case, the judge had told Cooley not to seek a fix on gambling cases because he had heard rumors of an investigation.

During the decade covered in the charges, Stillo was assigned to the southwest suburban criminal courts and misdemeanor court at 13th Street and Michigan Avenue in addition to the Maywood branch. He retired from the criminal division in Maywood in 1988.

”Judge Stillo has served for 24 years with distinction as a judge, during which time he engaged in no wrongdoing whatsoever,” said William Hedrick, a lawyer representing the former judge. ”The judge intends to vigorously contest the charges, and he expects to be vindicated.”

Attorney George Collins, representing Joseph Stillo, said he had not seen the indictment and could not comment beyond indicating Stillo will plead not guilty.

Foreman said the charges against former Judge Stillo are one of the first cases to involve charges from both Greylord and Gambat.

Foreman referred to the two undercover investigations as ”brothers Gambat and Greylord.”

”I suggest there`s been a lot of inroads made (against judicial corruption),” Foreman said, ”but I suggest there`s a lot of work

to do, particularly in Cook County.”


Defendant Position Case status

John J. Devine Associate judge Convicted; 15 years

Daniel Glecier Associate judge Convicted; 6 years, $50,000 fine

Martin F. Hogan Associate judge Convicted; 10 years

Reginald Holzer Circuit judge Convicted; 13 years

Richard LeFevour Presiding judge+ Convicted; 12 years

Thomas J. Maloney Circuit judge Indicted on racketeering charges

John H. McCollom Circuit judge Convicted; 11 years

John J. McDonnell Circuit judge Convicted; 6 years

Michael E. McNulty Associate judge Pleaded guilty; 3 years, $15,000 fine

John M. Murphy Associate judge Convicted; 10 years

James L. Oakey Associate judge Convicted; 6 years

Wayne W. Olson Circuit judge Pleaded guilty; 12 yrs., $35,000 fine

John F. Reynolds Circuit judge Convicted; 10 years, $33,000 fine

Frank Salerno Circuit judge Pleaded guilty; 9 years, $10,000 fine

Roger E. Seaman Circuit judge Pleaded guilty; 4 years

David J. Shields Presiding judge++ Convicted; faces sentencing

Adam N. Stillo Sr. Circuit judge Indicted on racketeering charges

Raymond Sodini Circuit judge Pleaded guilty; 8 years

+Of 1st Municipal District; formerly supervising judge of Traffic Court

++Of Chancery Court

Chicago Tribune Graphic; Source: News reports.

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