Prison for member of Daley dynasty? Feds ask judge to sentence ex-Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson to two years behind bars

Thompson asked the judge to give him probation instead. The two sides made their recommendations Monday ahead of Thompson’s sentencing before U.S. District Judge Franklin Valderrama, which is set for July 6.

SHARE Prison for member of Daley dynasty? Feds ask judge to sentence ex-Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson to two years behind bars
Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th) walks in to the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on Feb. 7.

Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th) walks in to the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in February.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file

Federal prosecutors say former Chicago Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson should go to prison for two years for cheating on his taxes and lying to federal regulators.

But Thompson asked a federal judge to give him probation instead.

The two sides made their recommendations Monday ahead of Thompson’s sentencing before U.S. District Judge Franklin Valderrama, which is set for July 6.

“[Thompson’s] criminal conduct was repetitive and willful,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Petersen wrote in a court memo. “The defendant’s dishonesty was not a single lapse of judgment, but rather, involved years of deceit. He simply thought he could get away with paying less than what he owed. The sentence imposed must show otherwise.”

Chris Gair, Thompson’s lawyer, wrote in his own memo that Thompson has “suffered tremendous public humiliation as a result of his conviction” in February.

“He has had to give up his law license and his position in public service,” Gair wrote. “He has lost his job and his career. He has lost most of his life savings defending himself. He has lost his cherished right to vote. He has lost his right to possess a firearm. And he will suffer significant restrictions on his liberty as a result of being on probation.”

Thompson is the grandson of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley and the nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Two of Thompson’s former colleagues, Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) and Ald. Nicholas Sposato (38th), are quoted in Gair’s memo.

Garza wrote that she found Thompson “to be a man of his word both inside and outside of City Hall. When he shook his hand on an agreement I could always count on him honoring his word, something that is surprisingly rare these days.”

Sposato wrote that Thompson “was always there for us. [He] loves this city and always worked hard for the betterment of his constituents.”

The sentencing recommendations come days after Valderrama denied a bid by Thompson’s lawyers for a new trial or acquittal, despite the February guilty verdict that forced Thompson from his 11th Ward City Council seat.

A jury found Thompson guilty of cheating on his taxes and lying to regulators.

The case against Thompson revolved around $219,000 he received from Washington Federal Bank for Savings in Bridgeport, which was shut down in December 2017 for massive fraud days after its CEO was found dead in a bank customer’s $1 million home.

Fourteen people have been charged in the multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme at the bank that also implicated the late bank chief, John F. Gembara.

Thompson got a $110,000 loan from Washington Federal in November 2011, followed by additional payments of $20,000 in March 2013 and $89,000 in January 2014. He made one $389.58 payment in February 2012 but paid no interest, according to federal authorities.

After Washington Federal was shut down, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. turned over Thompson’s loan to Planet Home Lending, and Thompson falsely claimed mortgage-interest deductions for interest he said he paid to Washington Federal on his tax returns for the years 2013 through 2017. Thompson also lied in early 2018 to a Planet Home Lending customer service representative and two FDIC contractors about how much he’d borrowed.

Thompson wound up settling the debt with the FDIC for a payment of the principal amount borrowed, $219,000, in December 2018, records show. He also filed amended tax returns and attempted to pay the taxes he owed, but the returns and payments for 2013, 2014 and 2015 were rejected for being too old, an IRS agent testified.

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