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Aldermen May Have To Testify At Boender Trial

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Feb 23, 2010 4:40PM

Ten current and former aldermen may find themselves compelled to testify in the trial of developer Calvin Boender, a judge said yesterday. Boender faces charges of bribing former alderman Isaac “Ike” Carothers (29th) in regards to the Galewood Yards project. U.S. District Judge Robert Dow said he would likely deny a request by the City to block the testimony but admitted that the testimony itself may not be relevant. According to the Tribune:

City lawyers filed a motion to block the testimony of the aldermen by claiming legislative immunity, a protection typically sought in civil suits.

Dow said today he would deny the motion seeking "blanket privilege" but said he still had questions about the relevance of any testimony from the aldermen. The judge said he wants to hear more from Boender's attorneys, who told the judge they have interviewed two of the aldermen so far.

Dow said he would not order the aldermen to be interviewed by the defense but said it might be beneficial to the city officials if they want to avoid having to come to court.

Of the ten aldermen in question, five were on the committee that approved of Boender's plan: Ed Burke (14th), Eugene Schulter (47th), Ed Smith (28th), Bernard Stone (50th), and former Ald. William J. P. Banks (36th). The other five aldermen are Walter Burnett (27th), Emma Mitts (37th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd), Patrick O’Connor (40th), and Helen Shiller (46th). Dow's decision won't be made public until after March 2; Boender's trial is scheduled to begin March 8.