March 22, 2007
BY NATASHA KORECKI AND FRAN SPIELMAN Staff Reporters
A federal grand jury has indicted Al Sanchez, a former top aide to Mayor Daley who also was a key leader of the mayor's Hispanic Democratic Organization, authorities said.
The charges against Sanchez, who was the city's Streets and Sanitation commissioner from 1999 until 2005, come as prosecutors continue to probe promotion and hiring practices at City Hall.
Indicted with Sanchez was Aaron del Valle, who recently mounted an unsuccessful campaign for 25th ward alderman against incumbent Daniel Solis. Del Valle — who finished fifth out of seven candidates in the Feb. 27 election, also worked for HDO and in the Department of Streets and Sanitation.
During Sanchez's tenure in the city agency, hundreds of members of HDO, which was a key source of political workers for the mayor, got jobs there and in other city departments.
Asked earlier today if his client had been charged or if he expected charges, Sanchez lawyer Daniel Pierce said: "Not to my knowledge." He could not be reached for comment after the indictment was unsealed.
Late last year, prosecutors charged John Resa, a city Water Management Department worker and HDO coordinator, with lying to a grand jury. Prosecutors charged that, when he wanted to reward HDO campaign workers with city jobs or promotions, Resa would turn to someone identified only as "Individual A." Sources have identified Sanchez as "Individual A."
Sanchez left his city post in June 2005, when a city hiring scandal was escalating.
Sanchez was a founding member of HDO, which Mayor Daley started in the early 1990s. HDO grew to about 500 members. Sanchez began working for the city in 1974 and became a key member of the 10th Ward Democratic organiation of then-political powerhouse Edward R. Vrdolyak.