BREAKING NEWS: Feds Arrest Alderman On Corruption Charges
Agents Break Window To Enter Troutman's Home
CHICAGO -- Chicago Alderman Arenda Troutman was arrested by federal agents Monday morning at her home.
Troutman, who has been under scrutiny by law enforcement for years, was arrested on public corruption charges.
A source close to the investigation said bribe-taking is among the allegations Troutman faces.
Troutman was questioned by the FBI in 2004 when her relationship with a fugitive Chicago gang banger came into question. She is in FBI custody.
Searches are under way at her aldermanic office and home.
Agents had to break a window to get into Troutman's home Monday morning when she wouldn't answer the door, but had been seen peering through a window. Investigators are currently seeking her cooperation.
In 2004, Troutman was questioned about her alleged love affair with fugitive gang kingpin Donnell "Scandalous" Jehan by federal investigators probing the Black Disciples street gang. In June, the FBI released a $10,000 reward for information leading to his capture.
In a recent interview Troutman told the Chicago Sun-Times: "There was never, ever anyone who proved there was any kind of relationship with anybody. Those were all allegations
The Sun-Times subsequently reported that federal investigators wanted to know how an envelope addressed to Troutman with a return address of the Chicago Police Department wound up in the hands of the Black Disciples.
Troutman responded by holding a raucous news conference at her ward office. She said she met with top gang members under the impression they were legitimate businessmen and accepted their help during aldermanic elections. She would not discuss whether she had a personal relationship with Jehan.
The alderman said that two envelopes addressed to her from the Chicago Police Department might have ended up in Jehan's home because her office routinely recycles office materials. Asked whether Jehan had ever driven her Cadillac Escalade, Troutman said, "For years, I have let everybody drive my car."
Asked about her relationship with Jehan, Troutman responded by talking instead about her own family's struggle with drugs and said she would never associate with anyone bringing that "poison" into the community.
"There is no way I would be involved with any criminal activity. No way. I understand what dope has done to my community," she said then.
Three hours before that news conference, Troutman's brother was arrested in a drug-related sting.
Last summer, Troutman was embarassed again when the Sun-Times reported that her family created and ran Hobtat Trucking Co., a firm that was paid more than $1.1 million from the city's Hired Truck Program. It was the first tme that an alderman's relatives had been linked to the scandal-ridden rogram.
At the time, the alderman said she never made a dime from the program and had "done nothing wrong."
Troutman was appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1990 after the death of Alderman Ernest Jones. The mayor stuck with her even after her opponents circulated police reports detailing her 1978 arrest on shoplifting charges. She admitted the crime, although the case was dropped.