Pesek resigns GOP post after ties to gang member, drug dealer revealed
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org
A young, once rising figure in the Illinois Republican party has quit the committee that runs the state party after the Sun-Times revealed the man’s ties to an Outlaw motorcycle gang member and a convicted wholesale drug dealer.
Craig Pesek, 34, is a key supporter and adviser to Cicero Town President Larry Dominick and a consultant to the town. A high school graduate who has managed a hot dog stand and a nightclub, Pesek was hired to oversee economic development in town and major building projects there.
Pesek and his older brother Jeff, 38, were caught on FBI surveillance in 2007 talking with Mark Polchan, an Outlaw motorcycle gang member, about Polchan’s fear he would be arrested for a mob-ordered bombing and whether the Peseks would post bond for him.
Last year, at Polchan’s federal criminal trial, a convicted drug dealer, Enrique “Henry” Rendon, testified that he was a silent investor in the Chicago nightclub, Ontourage. Craig Pesek is listed as the sole owner of the nightclub. Jeff Pesek testified under a grant of immunity from prosecution at Polchan’s trial that there were other people who helped Craig Pesek out with the club at the start, but that Craig Pesek never declared them as investors with the City of Chicago.
In an unrelated civil case, Rendon was listed on lease documents for an oil-change shop along with Craig Pesek.
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said Craig Pesek had done “nothing wrong” but that Pesek offered his resignation Thursday from his seat on the state central committee representing the 4th Congressional District to avoid creating distractions for the party.
“Craig just recognized that sometimes in politics that perception is reality, whether fair or not, and decided this is the best course to take,” Brady said.
“This is difference between the Republican and the Democratic parties. Our folks recognize that you have to be beyond reproach.”
Craig Pesek could not be reached for comment.
On Wednesday, parents demanded the resignation of Jeff Pesek as school board president for Morton High School District 201, serving students from Berwyn and Cicero, but he refused to step down or answer any questions from parents.