A former city supervisor was sentenced to two years probation Tuesday after he admitted he stole cigarette cartons from a city evidence room and sold them to his relatives’ South Side convenience stores.
“I apologize. You will see a different man,” Abd Ayesh promised Cook County Judge Neera Walsh while pleading guilty to theft and official misconduct.
Ayesh, now 36, was working as a $66,564-a-year supervisor of tax and license compliance for the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection when he was arrested in 2010.
He was responsible for storing and securing contraband cigarettes seized by the city. But he took some of the confiscated goods for himself to disperse to his family, prosecutors said.
An inspector working under Ayesh would pick up a black plastic bag Ayesh filled with cigarettes and then drive to Ayesh’s family’s convenience stores at 48th and Wood streets and 69th Street and Damen Avenue, prosecutors said.
There, the inspector would sell some of the cigarettes for a fraction of the cost.
After the investigator was busted in an unrelated probe, he agreed to wear an electronic eavesdropping device to record Ayesh for a joint investigation by the FBI, the state’s attorney’s office and city Inspector General.
Ayesh was recorded in at least three incriminating conversations, including one in which he ordered the inspector to take a bag of cigarettes worth more than $2,000 to a relative’s store, where the relative paid $240 for the cigarettes.
Ayesh, a father of two, refused comment after Tuesday’s hearing. He had worked as an aviation security officer for less than a month in 2001. In 2003, he spent a few weeks as a probationary Chicago Police officer before going to work for the city Revenue Department. He was fired from the city a few weeks after his arrest.