Fred Roti in 1996. He had been Chicago’s longest-serving alderman and, after the death of the first Mayor Daley, the city’s most influential elected politician.
After they heard the Marcy tape, all the prosecutors and the FBI agents on the Strike Force were finally convinced I was telling them the truth, and they could see the potential of my investigation. There were no objections when I asked to put a wire on Alderman Roti to show that he was also involved with the On Leong. The next week, unannounced, I dropped into his office at City Hall. The secretary told me he was in the City Council Chambers. She called him there, and he told her to have me come over.
I went back down to the second floor of City Hall, and as I turned the corner, I saw that they had installed a metal detector right in front of the Council Chambers. There had been some raucous protest the day before and the police didn’t want to take any chances during the City Council meeting. I would have turned around, but Roti was on the other side of the metal detector, talking with a couple of people, and he spotted me. He waved for me to come on in. I walked towards him down the long hall with its cathedral ceiling.
From 1986 to 1989, criminal defense attorney Robert Cooley wore a recording device and developed criminal cases against mobsters and corrupt officials. His investigation led to nine federal trials in the Nineties and convictions or guilty pleas for twenty-four.
“Bob is every bit the hero because he didn’t have to
do what he did.”
Tom Durkin, former First
Assistant U.S. Attorney
“The man is a paragon of corruption. The man is
Criminal Defense Attorney
Edward M. Genson
Never has a federal investigation accomplished
so much, and never has an investigation revolved as
much around one man. But
to this day, the reasons why Cooley decided to cooperate with federal authorities remain a mystery.