Trial airs dirty laundry of Cicero Town President Larry Dominick’s family
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter November 4, 2013 8:54PM
Cicero Town President Larry Dominick leaves the Dirksen Federal Building after opening statements of his civil trail on Saturday, November 2, 2013. | Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 6, 2013 6:29AM
Cicero President Larry Dominick solicited a $25,000 kickback in return for a town contract, his brother testified Monday.
Dominick “actually told me he wanted 25 grand under the table” to steer a lucrative deal for windows at Cicero’s new municipal complex back in 2007, Richard Dominick claimed.
The latest allegations in the long-running feud between Cicero’s elected leader and his older brother surfaced Monday afternoon on the first day of a civil jury trial in federal court.
In a case that has put the Dominick family’s dirty laundry on public display, Richard Dominick, 66, alleges Larry Dominick fired him from his paid part-time job on Cicero’s Vacant Buildings Board as an act of revenge after he blew the whistle against the town president in a letter to the IRS.
Larry Dominick — who also took the stand Monday — denies that, but says he had every right to dismiss his brother. He alleges that the real reason Richard Dominick is angry with him is that he and his wife weren’t handed “$75,000 do-nothing” town jobs, or the window contract.
There’s little love lost between the brothers, who haven’t spoken since 2009 and, sources say, visit their mother’s home at different times to avoid each other.
Their obvious mutual dislike in court seemed to undermine the claim of Richard Dominick’s attorney Louis Betrand that “this case isn’t a family feud — it’s a case about abuse of authority.”
Wearing his trademark black bowling shirt, Larry Dominick glowered at his brother as he testified in a husky voice that salesman Richard Dominick was “a bad seed to me.”
He denied knowing that his older brother had reported him to the IRS until months after he’d removed Richard Dominick from his town job that paid $1,000 a month plus benefits. The pair fell out, he said, after Richard Dominick insulted “my wife, my sister and my kids.”
In an aside that Judge Charles Kokoras instructed jurors to ignore, Larry Dominick then said he was also angry about “all the money [Richard] takes from my 89-year-old mother.”
But when Richard Dominick later accused him of soliciting the bribe for the window contract, Larry Dominick laughed.
For his part, the older brother broke down in tears as he described how he’d lost his health insurance with his town job. Though Richard Dominick denied seeking the window contract or a higher-paid town job, he was forced to admit that he’d written a letter to Larry Dominick complaining that the part-time town role paid “peanuts” and that the window contract would have been worth $50,000 to him in commission.
He suffered a further setback when Kokoras banned his lawyers from referring to Sharon Starzyk, Cicero’s former animal shelter boss, who was paid a $500,000 settlement by the town after alleging that Larry Dominick is a serial groper who once passed gas during an unwanted sexual advance.
The trial is likely to wrap up Tuesday, when jurors are due to hear evidence for the defense.