Summit police chief charged in bribery plot tied to heroin dealer’s bar

Also indicted this week in the same case was longtime political operative William Mundy, who doubles as Summit’s building inspector and public works director.

SHARE Summit police chief charged in bribery plot tied to heroin dealer’s bar
Summit Police Chief John Kosmowski.

Summit Police Chief John Kosmowski

Village of Summit

The police chief and the building inspector in Summit have been charged in a bribery scheme related to a liquor license at a bar run by a politically connected drug dealer in the southwest suburb — the latest case to emerge from the federal government’s ongoing political corruption investigations in Chicago and the suburbs.

The federal charges were lodged against Summit Police Chief John Kosmowski and building inspector William Mundy, a long-time political operative who also serves as Summit’s public works director.

Summit public works chief William Mundy, who’s long been active in politics in the southwest suburbs.

Summit public works chief William Mundy, who’s long been active in politics in the southwest suburbs

Village of Summit

Their alleged misconduct involves a bar in town that was trying to transfer a liquor license from one person to another, records show.

“It was part of the conspiracy that Kosmowski and Mundy corruptly agreed to accept and accepted money from Individual A, knowing that money was offered and given so that they would induce Individual B to authorize the transfer of the Business 1 liquor license to another person,” according to the indictment.

According to sources, Individual A is Mariano “Mario” Martinez — who ran Mars Bar at 6030 S. Harlem Ave. in Summit and pleaded guilty in a heroin case in 2019, admitting he gave more than $6,500 in bribes to public officials in Summit. He also agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors “in any matter” for which he’s called upon.

The bar once run by Mariano “Mario” Martinez, who pleaded guilty in a drug case in 2019 and admitted to bribing Summit officials.

The bar once run by Mariano “Mario” Martinez, who pleaded guilty in a drug case in 2019 and admitted to bribing Summit officials.

Sun-Times file

As the Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier in 2019, Martinez was an associate of a top political operative for Ald. Edward Burke and state Sen. Martin Sandoval, both of whom were facing their own problems with federal investigators, though Sandoval has since died.

Martinez maintained personal and professional connections to Rudy Acosta Sr., a Burke precinct captain and Sandoval pal, according to records and interviews.

Martinez was charged in 2019 with possessing and distributing a kilo of heroin.

Martinez initially told the Sun-Times, well before he pleaded guilty, that he’s not cooperating with federal authorities, saying, “I’m going to do my time.”

Mariano “Mario” Martinez, seen leaving the Dirksen Federal Building in 2019 after pleading guilty to a heroin charge and admitting in his plea agreement to bribing two Summit officials.

Mariano “Mario” Martinez, seen leaving the Dirksen Federal Building in 2019 after pleading guilty to a heroin charge and admitting in his plea agreement to bribing two Summit officials.

Sun-Times file photo

Individual B is Sergio Rodriquez, Summit’s mayor who doubles as the village’s liquor commissioner. He has not been accused of wrongdoing.

Business 1 is Mars Bar, sources say.

According to the indictment, which was returned Tuesday and announced Wednesday:

“On or about March 20, 2017, Kosmowski and Mundy met to discuss receiving a payment from Individual A.

Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez.

Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez

Village of Summit

“On or about March 20, 2017, Mundy called Individual B for the purpose of influencing and causing Individual B to approve the transfer of the Business 1 liquor license to another person.

“On or about March 20, 2017, Mundy called Individual A and told Individual A to begin preparing the paperwork needed for the transfer of the Business 1 liquor license.

“On or about March 23, 2017, Kosmowski called Individual A to get an update on the paperwork for the transfer of the Business 1 liquor license.

“On or about March 23, 2017, Kosmowski received more than $5,000 in cash from Individual A.

“On or about March 23, 2017, Kosmowski gave Mundy a portion of the cash that Kosmowski had received from Individual A.”

Kosmowski, a 54-year-old Lockport resident, didn’t immediately return calls or an email.

Mundy, a 59-year-old Summit resident, also didn’t immediately return calls or an email.

Reached on the phone, Rodriquez said he hadn’t heard about the charges and said, “That’s shocking, surprising, loss of words right now.”

Rodriquez said he couldn’t recollect a change in the name on the Mars Bar liquor license but recalled the establishment wanting a later liquor license.

As the Sun-Times previously reported, in 2016 the southwest suburb awarded Mars Bar a liquor license to operate until midnight, though the business wanted to be able to stay open until 2 a.m.

In 2017, the bar, which offers video gambling, obtained a 2 a.m. license. At some point, it pushed unsuccessfully to get a 4 a.m. license — coveted because the extra hours can bring in extra revenue from drinkers and gamblers.

Martinez told a reporter in 2019 that he ran the bar, and some records reflected that. But other documents showed a relative was the owner.

Court records show Martinez had a previous criminal record, including a decades-old robbery conviction, that could have made it difficult to get liquor or gaming licenses if he was Mars Bar’s owner of record.

Kosmowski is also accused in the indictment of meeting Mundy in Justice in March to “corruptly persuade Mundy to mischaracterize the nature and purpose of the cash payment Kosmowski made to Mundy,” records show.

Mundy is also accused of filing a false income tax return.

Rodriguez said Wednesday of the charges, “Very disappointed if what you’re telling me is true . . . I’m in shock, so we’ll see what we figure out now.”

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