Arrest raises questions on Trotter’s job at security firm with city deal
BY NATASHA KORECKI AND CHRIS FUSCO Sun-Times Reporters December 6, 2012 12:22PM
State Sen. Donne Trotter leaves after posting bond at the Cook County Criminal Courts Building on Thursday. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
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Updated: January 8, 2013 6:22AM
The security company employing state Sen. Donne Trotter has been paid more than $350,000 as a subcontractor on a City of Chicago security deal and is represented by a politically powerful lobbying firm run by a onetime top aide to former Mayor Richard M. Daley.
When Trotter was arrested Wednesday at O’Hare Airport for allegedly having a weapon in his belongings, he told police he left the pistol in a bag after working at AllPoints Security.
The South Side Democrat, who had been considered a top-tier candidate in the race to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in the 2nd Congressional District, was charged with attempting to bring a weapon on a plane, a felony. He was held overnight and released on $25,000 bond Thursday. He has been seen as a leading contender to win the Cook County Democratic Party’s slating on Dec. 15.
Besides raising questions about Trotter’s political future, the arrest opened a new line of inquiry into the nature of Trotter’s work for the company.
Several people who work with Trotter in Springfield said privately they were not aware that he carried a weapon, nor that he held a position with a security firm — something that is not listed on his economic disclosure forms.
Documents show Trotter, who makes nearly $90,000 a year as a state senator in leadership, is a relative newcomer to the security business.
He was certified in May 2011 to work for a security company. Trotter did not list working with AllPoints in the 2011 economic disclosure form he filed with the state, nor did he report income exceeding $1,200 with any other security company. AllPoints representatives had no comment.
Records show that AllPoints Security and Detective Inc. is represented by Chico & Nunes, a lobbying firm headed by Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery Chico. Chico & Nunes is a registered lobbyist with the city and its specialty is certifying businesses to become women- and minority-owned companies. That distinction gives them a leg up to win city business.
AllPoints Security is a minority- and women-certified contracting firm that has had political involvement for some time. The company is a subcontractor to provide security services at libraries and other city offices.
The company has made $49,000 in campaign contributions to local and state politicians since 2002, including to Daley, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and $500 to Trotter.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation lists Trotter as having three firearm-related licenses, including a firearm control card issued in March of this year, an original firearms training card, issued in May 2011 and a Permanent Employee Registration Card, also issued in May 2011.
Under his license, Trotter is allowed to carry a gun to and from his work with a security firm but not on an airplane. Authorities said Trotter has a valid FOID card but his gun was not registered with the city.
Under municipal ordinance, guns in Chicago must be registered. Trotter had explained he had been at a job with a security firm the night before and forgot he had the weapon and ammunition in his bag.
Trotter has hired as his attorney former federal prosecutor Thomas Anthony Durkin.
“I’m glad he’s home,” said Durkin, reached in Washington, D.C. “I won’t have any comment until I can meet with him in depth.”
Trotter would not answer questions, except to add, along with another lawyer from Durkin’s firm, Joshua Herman, that Trotter endured a long couple of days.
After court on Thursday, a reporter asked Trotter if he was still running?
He responded: “From you.”
Later Thursday, he told reporters: “I do intend on staying in the race at this time, and I’m going to continue to campaign for the people in the 2nd Congressional District.”
It wasn’t clear what immediate impact, if any, that Trotter’s legal problems would have on his leadership position in the Senate Democratic caucus.
Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) elevated Trotter to the majority caucus chair, which gives Trotter a $20,649 premium on top of his $67,836 base legislative pay.
Cullerton’s office wouldn’t respond to inquiries about the future of Trotter’s position in leadership, but an aide noted that his alleged wrongdoing wasn’t linked to his duties as a lieutenant to the Senate president.
“This situation is unrelated to official business of the state Senate, therefore we are not offering comment,” said Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon, who declined further comment.
Still, those within Cullerton’s camp were stunned by the allegation against Trotter, with multiple sources saying it was not known that the South Side senator carried a gun or that he had any affiliation with the security and detective firm, which was not disclosed on his state ethics-disclosure forms.
Contributing: Dave McKinney and Stefano Esposito