Ex-Ald. Edward Vrdolyak released from prison after 5 months

A judge in March denied a request from Vrdolyak, 84, for compassionate release. Vrdolyak’s lawyer had cited his “spiraling health issues,” reporting that he spent two weeks in solitary confinement after he reported to Minnesota’s FMC Rochester.

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Former Chicago Ald. Edward R. Vrdolyak walks into the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in March 2019.

Former Chicago Ald. Edward R. Vrdolyak has been released from federal prison.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file photo

Former Chicago Ald. Edward Vrdolyak is once again out of prison, five months after he reported to a federal medical center in Minnesota, records show.

U.S. District Judge Robert Dow sentenced Vrdolyak to 18 months in prison in December 2020 for helping fellow lawyer Daniel Soso dodge taxes. The judge said “I am not going to send Mr. Vrdolyak to prison during COVID,” but eventually ordered Vrdolyak to report Nov. 30, 2021.

Federal Bureau of Prisons records show Vrdolyak is now under the supervision of a residential reentry management office, or halfway house, in the Chicago area.

Dow in March denied a request from Vrdolyak, 84, for compassionate release. Vrdolyak’s lawyer had cited his “spiraling health issues,” reporting that he spent two weeks in solitary confinement after he reported to Minnesota’s FMC Rochester.

“When he was finally able to make contact with his family, it was clear he had suffered a complete mental breakdown,” attorney Gabrielle Sansonetti wrote.

She also said Vrdolyak suffered a traumatic brain injury in a fall.

Vrdolyak’s 2016 indictment stemmed from Illinois’ big-time settlement with tobacco companies in the 1990s. Prosecutors said Vrdolyak struck a secret deal and made $12 million off the litigation without doing any work. Vrdolyak’s lawyers argued that he helped a law firm land a contract, and it was no secret.

But that was only a backdrop to the tax evasion charge Vrdolyak pleaded guilty to in March 2019. Dow said during Vrdolyak’s sentencing he did “not find it to be a justifiable use of the court’s resources to try to resolve” whether Vrdolyak had struck a legitimate deal.

Dow sentenced Soso in March 2020 to two years in prison. Records show Soso completed his sentence in January.

Vrdolyak was also sentenced to 10 months in prison in an earlier, separate fraud case in 2010.

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