A federal judge on Monday left the door open to compelling Chicago aldermen to testify for the defense in the upcoming trial of a developer accused of passing bribes for a zoning change.
Ten current and former aldermen have been trying to block subpoenas brought by attorneys for developer Calvin Boender, who faces a March 8 trial on charges that he bribed then-Ald. Isaac “Ike” Carothers (29th).
Carothers has pleaded guilty and submitted his resignation.
U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow Jr. said Monday he was likely to deny the aldermen’s bid to quash the subpoenas outright but he still questioned whether their testimony would be relevant at trial.
Five of the subpoenaed aldermen sat on a committee that advanced a zoning change allowing Boender to redevelop the 50-acre Galewood Yards from industrial to residential use.
Authorities charge that Carothers approved the zoning change after Boender bankrolled $40,000 in improvements to the Carothers’ residence. Defense lawyers want to ask other aldermen the reasoning behind their votes.