Consultant Pleads Guilty to Providing Bribes to Public Officials to Benefit Clients
CHICAGO — A consultant pleaded guilty in federal court today to offering and providing bribes to public officials in an effort to benefit his clients. ROBERTO CALDERO, 69, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. The conviction is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Steven C. Seeger set sentencing for Dec. 15, 2022. The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Ashley T. Johnson, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. The Chicago Public Schools Office of Inspector General participated in the investigation. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Kramer. Caldero admitted in a plea agreement that in 2016 he offered and arranged for bribes to be provided to a City of Chicago alderman and a Chicago Public Schools employee in exchange for them taking official actions to benefit Caldero’s clients, who were seeking a custodial services contract at CPS, an honorary street name designation in Chicago, and the renaming of a parcel of property believed to be a Chicago Park District park. The benefits Caldero offered the CPS employee included the prospect of future employment, champagne, discounted event space for a family event, and admission to an annual benefit for a museum. To influence the alderman, Caldero arranged for campaign contributions to be made to political organizations affiliated with the alderman or his ward. Unbeknownst to Caldero, the alderman was cooperating with the FBI.