Friend of Cicero town president indicted on tax evasion charges
BY JON SEIDEL AND KIM JANSSEN Staff Reporters October 7, 2013 12:00PM
George Hunter at a Cicero election board meeting in January 2013. | Sun-Times file photo
Updated: November 9, 2013 6:13AM
The feds are going after a buddy of Cicero Town President Larry Dominick for allegedly cheating on his taxes.
But a lawyer for Dominick’s freshly indicted pal — George Hunter of Stickney — said it’s all payback.
“These were retaliatory charges for Mr. Hunter not cooperating with the FBI and the government against Larry Dominick,” attorney Michael Schmiege told the Chicago Sun-Times after his client pleaded not guilty in front of U.S. Judge Amy St. Eve.
The charges come more than a year after records show the town of Cicero received a federal grand jury subpoena for records of Hunter’s business dealings there, suggesting the investigation involving the western suburb is heating up.
Hunter, 59, illegally dodged federal taxes of more than $400,000 in 2007 and 2008, according to the indictment unsealed on Monday. He is free on bail until his next hearing Nov. 5.
The taxes were allegedly owed by his business, Superior Sewer Solution, which received more than $1.8 million in work from Cicero without a contract and without submitting a bid, the Sun-Times revealed in 2011.
The indictment alleges Hunter wrote numerous checks to an “Individual A” and “Individual B” for nearly $500,000 in 2007 and 2008, and at times he accepted cash back from both of them.
It also alleges Hunter paid his workers in cash and told them not to report their earnings to the IRS, and that he failed to file a tax return in 2008, when he made $655,000.
Dominick’s name did not come up during Hunter’s brief court appearance Monday. But Dominick’s political opponents have repeatedly alleged the town president was a partner in Hunter’s business.
They tried unsuccessfully to have him thrown off the ballot prior to his re-election earlier this year, claiming Superior Sewer Solution owes the town for years of business licenses.
Dominick has previously denied he has any business dealings with Hunter. The town’s spokesman did not reply to messages seeking comment on Dominick’s behalf Monday. Schmiege, meanwhile, said “to the best of my knowledge” Dominick is neither “Individual A” nor “Individual B.”
Schmiege said Hunter has never cooperated against Dominick and has never been involved with anything illegal with Dominick. But he said federal investigators wanted to know more about Superior Sewer Solution’s contracts with Cicero from 2005 until 2009.
The Sun-Times has also obtained a copy of a federal grand jury subpoena from July 2012 seeking records of the company’s dealings with Cicero from 2009 until 2011.
Finally, in court depositions for a lawsuit previously filed by one of Dominick’s brothers against the town, several people testified Hunter and Dominick were partners in a sewer business in the 1990s.
While Hunter received the windfall, the plumber bought Dominick’s Stickney home for $100,000 more than the town president paid for it.