Thursday, April 22, 2021

Bloomingdale Township road commissioner indicted for receiving kickbacks

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A suburban Chicago road commissioner was indicted Thursday on federal charges alleging he took kickbacks from an excavation company to which he steered business over eight years.

The indictment alleges Robert Czerek, 69. the elected head of the Bloomingdale Township Road District, knew Bulldog Earth Movers didn’t do much of the work for which it billed the township.

Federal prosecutors allege Czernek took more than $280,000 in kickbacks from excavation company owner Debra Fazio, 63, and her employee, Mario Giannini, 58. In return, they said Czernek helped steer more than $700,000 from Bloomingdale Township to Bulldog Earth Movers.

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Czernek, Fazio and Giannini are charged with honest services wire fraud. Fazio also faces money laundering charges. None could be reached for comment after the indictment was filed, and no arraignments have been scheduled.

The indictment alleges Fazio and Giannini paid the kickbacks to Czernek by writing checks to a defunct former business of the official known as Tri-State Express.

Czernek is the fourth elected official in Illinois to face federal criminal charges in recent weeks. Federal prosecutors have also charged Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta with bribery, state Sen. Terry Link with filing a false income tax return, and former Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski with extortion.

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