22 More Indicted in Chicago's Greylord Judicial Investigation

Associated Press

Twenty-two more people, including a circuit judge and two former judges, were charged with crimes ranging from bribery to racketeering Wednesday as a result of the Operation Greylord investigation of corruption in the nation's largest court system.

The first indictment alleges that Circuit Judge Raymond Sodini, 58, worked with former Associate Circuit Judge James Oakey, 54, to collect kickbacks from attorneys working in their courtrooms in exchange for referring clients to them.

Former Circuit Judge John F. Reynolds, 55, who now lives in Irving, Tex., was named in a second indictment on grounds that he operated a similar scheme.

Sheriffs Also Charged

The 22 indicted Wednesday also included 10 lawyers, seven Cook County deputy sheriffs, one Chicago policeman and one Cook County Circuit Court clerk.

The total brought to 52 the number of indictments resulting from the 3 1/2-year undercover investigation, which was first announced two years ago this month.

The 22 were named in three indictments. The first two indictments resulted from what U.S. Atty. Anton R. Valukas called schemes designed to influence judges' conduct in specific cases as well as steer clients to attorneys in return for a kickback to judges and other court personnel.

The third indictment charged attorney Frederic Solomon of Highland Park with making false statements on his federal income-tax returns for the years 1979 to 1982.

Valukas said that in a typical scheme a judge would steer a client to a lawyer, then award that attorney the client's bond money. The attorney would keep that sum as his fee for handling the case and kick back 25% to court personnel, some of whom passed the money up to the judge, he said.

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