SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Tuesday, federal agents raided the Springfield and Cicero offices of longtime Democratic state Senator Martin Sandoval as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
FBI Special Agent John Althen, a spokesman for the Chicago office, confirmed “FBI personnel are engaged in an authorized law enforcement activity at the Illinois State Capitol,” but declined further comment.
Agents could be seen walking out of the Senate Democrats’ offices carrying cardboard boxes and brown paper bags marked “evidence” before leaving the capitol.
According to other published reports, FBI agents also were seen at Sandoval’s district office in west suburban Cicero and at his home on the southwest side of Chicago.
A Democrat from Chicago, Sandoval has been in the Illinois Senate since 2003, and is a longtime ally of House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Madigan’s district in the Illinois House makes up half of Sandoval’s senate district.
Sandoval chairs the Senate Transportation Committee and has worked closely with Madigan on state infrastructure spending legislation and other major highway and mass transit projects.
The raid comes at a time when once-powerful Chicago Alderman Edward Burke, whose ward shares some territory with Sandoval’s senate district, is facing a federal indictment for racketeering and bribery charges.
Burke pleaded not guilty to the indictment in June. He resigned earlier this year as Finance Committee chairman but was re-elected to a record 13th full term, despite the federal charges.
It’s not clear if the raids on Sandoval’s offices are in any way connected to Burke’s indictment.