Illinois State Senator Resigns Amid Federal Probe Into Corruption

November 28, 2019 Updated: November 28, 2019

Democratic Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval said he’s resigning amid a federal probe into alleged bribery and public corruption.

Sandoval, who hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing, sent a letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections announcing he would resign as of Jan. 1, 2020.

“Since 2003, it has been an honor of a lifetime to serve the State of Illinois and fight on behalf of the good people of the Southwest-Side of Chicago/Suburban West Cook,” Sandoval wrote.

“Respect for my constituents and the Senate has convinced me that this action is necessary in order to proceed without distraction to the important work that needs to be accomplished for working families throughout the state of Illinois in the future.”

Sandoval said he was resigning “with heavy heart.”


According to The Southern Illinoisan, by delaying the resignation until next year, Sandoval can get full pay for December and January.

Sandoval, 55, resigned as chairman of the Transportation Committee in October after his office was raided.

According to an FBI search warrant (pdf), agents seized multiple iPhones, computers, and USB drives, along with other items.

“The unredacted warrant provides another glimpse into the vast network of background players involved in the corrupt Chicago Democrat machine that runs this state,” Illinois Republican Party chairman Tim Schneider said in a statement at the time.

“From another close Madigan ally to Pritzker’s Tollway appointee, there is virtually no level of state and local government in Cook County that is not teeming with self-dealing Democrats looking to screw over taxpayers. The Illinois Democratic Party is a crime ring masquerading as a political party.”

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan as he arrives to address the Illinois General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., on Feb. 10, 2016. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Sandoval is one of a number of allies of state House Speaker Mike Madigan, a Democrat, to be investigated by federal agents.

State Rep. Luis Arroyo, a Democrat, resigned Nov. 1, just hours before a committee was slated to consider expelling him from the General Assembly. State Sen. Terry Link helped the FBI as a mole in that case, according to local papers, and former Alderman Daniel Solis also worked as a mole after agents built a case against him.

Democratic State Sen. Tom Cullerton is another official embroiled in the probe. He was charged with federal embezzlement on Aug. 2. He has remained in office despite calls from Republicans for him to resign.

Alderman Ed Burke, a Democrat, was also indicted on racketeering and extortion charges, while Alderman Carrie Austin’s office was raided, though she hasn’t been charged as of yet. Former Alderman Michael Zalewski has also been probed and has hired lawyers to represent him.

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