Patrick Daley Thompson sentenced to 4 months in federal prison – NBC Chicago
Former Chicago Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson was sentenced to four months in federal prison for cheating on his taxes and lying to regulators in the federal criminal case that cost him his seat on city council earlier this year.
U.S. District Judge Franklin Valderrama handed down the sentence during a hearing Wednesday at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago’s Loop. Thompson is the grandson of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley and a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley.
The judge acknowledged that the sentence “will be difficult” for Thompson and his family but said “I wish you luck”.
After the hearing, Thompson’s attorney, Chris Gair, called the conviction a “serious miscarriage of justice”.
Thompson left the courthouse without comment.
Before being sentenced, Thompson told the judge that the last four years of his life “have been a nightmare for me, especially for my family.” And he said that the person depicted in the trial and in the news reports was “a stranger” to me.
Thompson insisted “there is no doubt about my conduct as an elected official.” And he said, “I believed, and I believe, that my conduct was not criminal.”
“I made mistakes,” Thompson said. “These mistakes cost me dearly. They cost me my livelihood, my job, my position as a public servant, my law degree and now, potentially, my freedom is at stake.”
In the clearest reference to his famous political family, Thompson also told the judge, “My family has been in public service. I followed this line. It’s an honorable business.
While it’s not unusual for cases to drag on for years in the federal courthouse — particularly public corruption cases involving Thompson’s colleagues — Thompson’s sentencing day came just 14 months after he was indicted in April 2021.
But unlike Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) or Ald. Carrie M. Austin (34th), who also faces federal indictments, Thompson’s attorney immediately began asking for a trial date when his client was arraigned in May 2021. He said he wanted to clear Thompson’s name.
Nine months later, a jury would find Thompson guilty on all counts against him. Her trial lasted about a week and the verdict left her family members in tears. Thompson’s wife, Katie, recently wrote in a letter to the judge that “everything we worked for all our lives has been exhausted – financially, reputationally and even what we thought were strong friendships. All the beliefs and promises we made have been deeply shaken.
Thompson’s defense team accused federal prosecutors of “leaning into conspiracy theories, exaggerations and lies” as they sought a prison sentence for the former city council member. But the federal government argued that Thompson “simply thought he could get away with paying less than he had to and was willing to lie to achieve that goal.”
They argued he had an “irregular and comfortable” relationship with the Washington Federal Bank for Savings in Bridgeport. And they said they could “discern no reason” for his preferential treatment there “other than his status in the community and his role as an elected official.”
Thompson joined the board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago in 2012 and the city council in 2015.
Prosecutors also pointed to Thompson’s role as a lawyer and officer of the court – important because it meant he knew “the importance of candor when dealing with financial institutions”.
Thompson’s sentencing revolved around $219,000 he received between 2011 and 2014 from the Washington Federal. The bank was closed in December 2017 amid allegations of massive fraud, days after its chairman was found dead in the home of a million-dollar bank customer.
Thompson made a payment of $389.58 on the loan in February 2012 but paid no interest, according to the federal government. After the failure of Washington Federal in 2017, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. turned over Thompson’s loan to Planet Home Lending.
Thompson falsely claimed deductions for mortgage interest allegedly paid to the Washington Federal on his tax returns for the years 2013 through 2017. Thompson also lied in early 2018 to a Planet Home Lending customer service representative and two contractors from the FDIC on the amount he borrowed.
He settled with the FDIC for $219,000 in December 2018, records show. He also filed amended tax returns and attempted to pay the taxes he owed, but the returns and payments for 2013, 2014 and 2015 were rejected as too old, an IRS agent testified.