Tag Archives: hastert

Judge tosses federal lawsuit alleging Hastert misused office

(CHICAGO) In what has become a rare legal win for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, a federal judge has tossed a lawsuit alleging he used a taxpayer-funded office to do private business after leaving Congress, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Suburban businessman J. David John first sued Hastert in 2013, claiming Hastert, 75, did business with John in 2010 out of his federally funded Office of the Former Speaker in Yorkville. John also claimed he told FBI Special Agent Doug Soika about Hastert’s dealings in an August 2011 phone call.

But Hastert’s lawyers disputed whether John was the “original source” of the allegations that had already been made public. And earlier this year, Soika denied at a hearing that he had any conversation with John about Hastert. John also testified at that hearing.

U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras found Thursday that John’s testimony “was confusing, inconsistent, uncorroborated and implausible.” Meanwhile, Soika’s testimony was corroborated by FBI records.

Kocoras found that “John never told the FBI anything about Hastert and any possible misuse of a federally funded office, car, and related other items.”

John’s lawsuit continued to linger at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse when federal prosecutors filed a bombshell indictment against Hastert in May 2015 alleging he committed crimes while trying to cover up his past sexual abuse of teenage boys.

Hastert is now serving a 15-month prison sentence for crimes that are unrelated to the use of his post-congressional office. He is also locked in another civil battle with one of his victims.

— Chicago Sun-Times

Hastert seeks $1.7 million in hush money repayment

(CHICAGO) Imprisoned former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is asking a Kendall County judge to throw out the breach of contract suit brought against him by “Individual A” and to order the unnamed sexual abuse victim to repay Hastert $1.7 million in hush-money, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

In a counterclaim filed Thursday, attorneys for Hastert — who is serving a 15-month sentence at a Minnesota federal prison for financial crimes related to making the hush money payments — said any agreement between him and “Individual A” would be required to stay “confidential for the remainder of his life.”

Through his attorney, Hastert “denies the existence of a valid and enforceable contract” with Individual A. If a contract existed, though, then Individual A was the one who “breached that obligation.”

When federal investigators started looking into Hastert’s finances, the former speaker had already paid Individual A $1.7 million of an alleged $3.5 million agreement between the two.

The man, who knew Hastert from his childhood and is now middle-aged, breached that oral contract of confidentiality when he spoke to investigators, the filing stated.

Kristi Browne, Individual A’s attorney, issued a statement Thursday afternoon, saying:

“Mr. Hastert has decided that rather than live up to his promise to compensate his victim for his molestation and resulting injury, he will ask his victim to pay him. He admits to agreeing to make payments, but then denies that it is an agreement that he has to keep. His response is predictable and we look forward to entering the discovery phase of the case.”

In his lawsuit, Individual A is seeking to be awarded the remaining $1.8 million that Hastert agreed to pay.

Hastert is asking the judge to rule against Individual A in the breach of contract suit and order him to repay the former speaker $1.7 million.

The next hearing is scheduled for March 8.

Browne previously said her client was not extorting Hastert, but approached the former House speaker in 2010 seeking compensation for the trauma he’d suffered in the decades since Hastert assaulted him when the man was a teenager on the Yorkville wrestling team.

Hastert quit his teaching job when he took a spot in the state Legislature, then went on to become the longest-serving Republican speaker of the House. Hastert resigned from Congress in 2007 and began a lucrative career as a lobbyist.

Hastert pleaded guilty to federal charges of structuring financial transactions to hide money he was paying to Individual A. At his sentencing hearing last spring, Hastert admitted to molesting several former students, including Scott Cross, the brother of former Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross, who testified at the sentencing hearing.

Individual A did not testify at Hastert’s sentencing and has refused media requests for interviews.

— Chicago Sun-Times

Imprisoned Hastert fights for tax-covered pension

CHICAGO (AP) — Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is citing a technicality in a bid to restore his tax-covered public school pensions as he serves a 15-month prison sentence in a hush-money case that stemmed from his sexual abuse of high school students.

Hastert’s lawyers contend his conviction was for violating banking law between 2010 and 2015 as he sought to pay one victim $3.5 million in hush money — not specifically for the sexual abuse. On those grounds, they say his $17,000-a-year teacher’s pension can’t be revoked.

The bid to restore his school pension was in a letter from a Hastert lawyer to the Teachers’ Retirement System. It was released through an open-records request.

State legislators are also vying to permanently strip the 74-year-old of his Illinois House pension.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Hastert to Report Today

By Nick Gale, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) Disgraced former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is due to report to prison today.

Hastert will serve out his 15-month sentence in a federal prison in southeastern Minnesota. The 74-year-old will serve time for breaking banking laws in a hush money case that revealed he sexually abused at least four boys decades ago when he was a wrestling coach at Yorkville High School.

On the inside, the nation’s longest-serving GOP speaker will be known to prison guards as Inmate No. 47991-424.

Hastert victim:  Ex-Speaker abused nine boys

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert departs the federal courthouse Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Chicago, after his sentencing on federal banking charges which he pled guilty to last year. Hastert was sentenced to more than a year in prison in the hush-money case that included accusations he sexually abused teenagers while coaching high school wrestling. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert departs the federal courthouse Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Chicago, after his sentencing on federal banking charges which he pled guilty to last year. Hastert was sentenced to more than a year in prison in the hush-money case that included accusations he sexually abused teenagers while coaching high school wrestling. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)


By  John Dempsey, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) How many teenage boys did Dennis Hastert sexually abuse?  One of his victims says the number may be as high as nine.

Scott Cross told Politico’s Natasha Korecki he has personally confirmed that the former U.S. Speaker of the House abused nine boys when he was the Yorkville High School wrestling coach in the 60’s and 70’s, not five as court records have suggested.

Cross is the brother of Hastert’s one time political protege Tom Cross, the former Illinois House Republican leader who stepped down from the legislature two years ago in a losing bid for State Treasurer.

​Scott Cross delivered dramatic, emotional testimony before U.S. Judge Thomas Durkin on Wednesday, telling the court that Hastert sexually abused him when Cross was a star wrestler for Yorkville High in the late 70’s.

Scott Cross also told Politico that Hastert, “….has his bed to lie in. His time will come; the maker’s got his number.”

Judge Durkin gave Hastert a 15 month prison term and fined him $250,000, calling Hastert a “serial child molester.”

Because the statute of limitations has run out on the child abuse allegations, Durkin could only sentence Hastert for banking law violations,  for failing to report withdrawals he made to pay another victim, known in court papers as “Individual A.”

Individual A has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Hastert, for failing to pay all of the money they agreed upon, as compensation for Hastert’s past abuse.

During a hearing on the suit Thursday, Kendall County Judge Robert Pilmer ruled the suit can go forward, but told Individual A’s attorney the man may have to eventually disclose his identity, something the man does not want to do at this point.

The next hearing in the case is July 25th.

Read the Politico story here..

@ 2016 WLS-AM News

Dennis Hastert gets 15 months in prison in hush money case

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert arrives at the federal courthouse Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Chicago, for his sentencing on federal banking charges which he pled guilty to last year. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert arrives at the federal courthouse Wednesday,April 27, 2016, in Chicago, for his sentencing on federal banking charges which he pled guilty to last year. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

By Nick Gale, WLS News

(CHICAGO)  Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been sentenced to 15 months in prison and a $250,000 fine in a hush-money case.

Hastert acknowledged in court this morning that he abused some boys while he was the wrestling coach at Yorkville High School, decades ago. In a shock to those in the courtroom, one of the alleged victims was Scott Cross, brother of former Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross. Scott Cross testified at Wednesday’s sentencing, saying he decided to do so after Hastert went to his brother asking for a letter of support. Scott Cross says he told his brother, wife and parents about the abuse after details emerged in the case.

Hastert was not sentenced for his action back when he was at Yorkville, but rather for a bank fraud case where he illegally structured bank withdrawals to pay hush money to “Individual A.” But before sentencing, the judge had strong words for Hastert.

“If you told the truth, I’m not sure we’d be here today but you didn’t and here we are,” said Judge Thomas Durkin. He also called Hastert a child molester on several occasions.

Durkin has yet to set a date when Hastert will have to report to prison. He left court with his family.

Hastert’s lagal troubles are not over, however. “Individual A” has filed a lawsuit against Hastert claiming a breach of contract.

@ 2016 WLS News

Individual “A” Sues Hastert for Breach of Contract

By Nick Gale, WLS-AM News

(CHICAGO) Ahead of his sentencing hearing later this week, the person at the center of the criminal case against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, has filed a lawsuit claiming breach of contract.

​Individual A, identified in the new lawsuit as “James Doe,” is seeking the remaining $1.8 million Hastert promised to pay him. The lawsuit was filed in Kendall County.

Hastert, who had claimed he was being extorted, promised to pay Individual A $3.5 million to cover up sexual misconduct from Hastert’s days as a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School. He pleaded guilty to violating banking laws after withdrawing large sums of money. He lied to the FBI about the cash, which was used to pay Individual A, who has collected $1.7 million so far.

Hastert will be sentenced Wednesday, where one victim and the sister of another victim are expected to testify. Attorneys have asked for probation for the 74-year-old. Prosecutors have asked for six months, but the judge could sentence Hastert to a maximum of five years in prison.

@ 2016 WLS-AM News

Former House Speaker Hastert set to plead guilty.

By John Dempsey, WLS News

(CHICAGO) Expect a media circus at Chicago’s Dirksen Federal Building on Wednesday, as disgraced former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is set to plead guilty to charges of financial irregularities, that are reportedly tied to the sexual abuse of a minor.

Hastert appears before U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin at 8:30 AM on Wednesday, five months to the day after federal prosecutors unveiled a stunning indictment against the once powerful Republican.

Hastert’s lawyers have requested the change-of-plea hearing.  Prosecutors said they expect to reach a written plea agreement with Hastert.

Hastert has not shown his face in court since he pleaded not guilty June 9 to skirting banking laws and lying to the FBI. The charges were unveiled by federal prosecutors in a bombshell indictment announced May 28. It accused Hastert of an alleged $3.5 million hush-money scheme.

The case became even more sensational when sources told media outlets, including the Chicago Sun-Times, that Hastert paid millions of dollars to a longtime male acquaintance to cover up alleged sexual misconduct, stemming from the days when Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School.

However former federal Prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer, now the head of security for the Chicago office of Kroll Investigations, told “The Big John Howell Show” on WLS, that the plea deal means the public may never find out details of that alleged sexual abuse, saying  “In a plea agreement which I think is what we’re gonna see tomorrow, both sides would have to agree as to what the factual allegations is.  The open question is whether or not he’d have to get into why he took out the money and why he was structuring the money.  And while the motive is interesting and it’s a fair point to say that people would want to know what it is, it’s not relevant to what he was charged with”

The indictment against Hastert, a man once second in line to the presidency, is vague. It triggered a search for Hastert’s alleged hush-money recipient, but that hunt has so far been unsuccessful. Known only as “Individual A,” that person is described in Hastert’s indictment simply as “a resident of Yorkville” who has known Hastert “most of Individual A’s life.”

Between 2010 and 2014, Hastert allegedly withdrew $1.7 million in hush money from his bank accounts, handing it over to “Individual A” to keep quiet about past misconduct, according to the indictment. Hastert had ultimately agreed to pay that person $3.5 million, the indictment alleged.

But Hastert illegally split up the withdrawal of $952,000 to evade the banks’ reporting requirements, according to the feds. Then, when the FBI got suspicious and asked Hastert if he made withdrawals as large as $50,000 because he didn’t trust the banks, he allegedly lied and said, “Yea … I kept the cash. That’s what I’m doing.”

More embarrassing details could spill out if the case goes to trial. Experts have repeatedly predicted Hastert would try to avoid such a proceeding.

But Jeffrey Cramer told WLS while federal prosecutors will most likely not release details of the sexual abuse, that won’t stop others from trying to solve the mystery.    “Media and others are trying to find out and going down to the town using process of elimination, trying to see who was on the wrestling team who he interacted with, who may have worked for his campaign since, to try and limit the number of suspects if you will.

Keep in mind this person, while certainly a victim if this is all true….may be an extortionist at this point because Mr. Hastert was giving him close to two million dollars and seemed to be in a hurry to do so.  So maybe a double edged sword for that person.   I left the department of justice about six years ago. I now head the Chicago office of Kroll Investigations, so we do a fair amount of investigations ourselves obviously, it can be done.   You can learn who this person is and I’d be surprised if we didn’t know at some point”.

@ 2015 WLS News

Breaking: Hastert Reaches Plea Deal

By Bill Cameron and Nick Gale, WLS News

(CHICAGO) Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors over bank fraud charges.

Listen to Bill Cameron’s report for WLS radio here:

Attorney’s for Hastert say they reached the deal with prosecutors and the Republican will plead guilty to charges that he paid $3.5 million in hush-money to cover up alleged wrongdoing from his years as a high school teacher, long before he became second in line to the presidency.

A person who was interviewed by the FBI raised allegations that the wrongdoing was sexual in nature. Hastert’s attorneys have blamed the government for improperly leaking details of alleged sexual abuse.

A written plea agreement has been worked out and both sides say it will be handed over to the judge on Monday.

According to the charges, Hastert lied about the reasons he withdrew $952,000 in cash over the previous 2 &1/2 years when he was questioned by the FBI in December.

The judge has set October 28th for Hastert to enter the guilty plea. There is a report that the government insists Hastert serve at least a year in prison.

@ 2015 WLS News

Museum bows to pressure – will remove Hastert car

By John Dempsey, WLS News

The fall from grace continues for Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Hastert has pleaded not guilty to Federal charges of failing to follow government bank reporting guidelines and lying to the FBI, regarding money he withdrew, reportedly to silence a man who claims Hastert sexually abused him as a teenager.

Several boards on which Hastert served have dumped him.   Also Wheaton College quickly removed Hastert’s name from it’s economics and public policy center following his indictment.

Now, the Volo Auto Museum says it is pulling a vintage car once owned by Hastert, that it had on display at the Illinois Tollway’s Belvedere Oasis.

Museum Director Brian Grams told “The Big John Howell Show” on WLS, the museum has gotten several calls objecting to the display of Hastert’s car, saying “Ever since all the allegations came up, we weren’t sure what we were going to do with it.  But we have since decided that we are going to pull it from the Oasis, and put it in storage, and try to figure out what we are going to do with it’.

Grams also told WLS, “”We’re a family destination. We, you know, pride ourselves on that.  So with the situation that’s going on, you know, we don’t want to offend any families.”

The car is a dark green 1942 Lincoln Zephyr that the museum bought from Hastert’s personal collection in 2007.

It had been part of the Volo Auto Museum’s collection of cars once owned by the “rich and famous”, that was on display at the Illinois Tollway’s Belvedere Oasis.   Grams also says the Tollway Authority requested it’s removal as well, in light of the Hastert indictment.

Here is a statement from the Volo Auto Museum:

“In the wake of recent events concearning former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert’s 1942 Lincoln Zephyr, Volo Auto Museum has removed Mr. Hastert’s Lincoln from the Illinois Tollway’s Belvidere Oasis.  Furthermore, the 1942 Lincoln Zephyr will not be on display at the Volo Auto Museum.  Volo is taking this very unusual action in light of the information concearning Speaker Hastert’s conduct as reported in the National Media over the last several days.  The actions Volo is taking should not be construed as passing judgment on Speaker Hastert’s guilt or innocence in his pending federal criminal case.”

See more at: http://www.volocars.com/1942-lincoln-zephyr–c-4742.htm#sthash.K0LembLM.dpuf

@ Copyright  2015 WLS News


Hastert Pleads Not Guilty, Released On Bond

By Nick Gale, WLS News

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has pleaded not guilty to charges that he broke banking laws and lied to FBI investigators.

In a dark suit with slouched shoulders, Hastert didn’t say much in court, just answering yes to a few of the judge’s questions. He was released following the arraignment on$4,500 bond and did not talk with reporters as he left court.

There was no talk in court about allegations that he was pulling large sums of money out of the bank to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep quiet a secret about his past. Sources have indicated those payments were intended to conceal claims that Hastert sexually molested someone decades ago.

So what’s the next step for Hastert and his legal team? Richard Kling, professor at Chicago Kent College of Law, says Hastert may have pleaded not guilty, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to court.

“I would imagine they are in negotiations,” Kling said. “I can’t imagine that he’s going to go to trial because if he goes to trial all of the dirty laundry is no longer going to be under the bed.”

As for Judge Thomas Durkin giving both parties a choice to remove him from hearing the trial after it was disclosed that he twice donated to Hastert’s campaigns through a law firm which he worked and had previously worked with Hastert’s son, Kling says he doubts attorneys for Hastert and the government would make such a request.

“I think he gave the lawyers a choice, ‘If you want to have me recuse myself I will.’ I don’t think they’re going to opt for that choice,” Kling said.

Both sides have until June 11th to make that decision. Until then, no other court dates have been set.

Meanwhile, Hastert must surrender his passport, although he can still travel in the continental United States. He must also turn over any guns in his home.

@ Copyright 2015 WLS News


Durbin “Stunned” on Hastert Indictment

By Nick Gale, WLS News

(Chicago) U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says he was stunned when he heard that Hastert had been indicted.

Listen to Nick Gale’s story:

“I was stunned when I heard the news,” Durbin said. “I know him, I’ve worked with him, we served together in the Illinois delegation and of course I worked with him when he was speaker. We knew one another and have known one another for many, many years. It was a stunning indictment and revelation. I have not heard his explanation yet and of course I want to but I woke up today and am still shaking my head at the thought that he might be engaged in this sort of activity.”

He says that even though Hastert is innocent until proven guilty, it is still is a black eye on Illinois politics.

“This takes a toll on pub confidence in elected officials across the board, Democrats and Republicans and even though I believe the vast majority of my colleagues in both parties are honest people working hard to serve the public, the continued investigations and indictments and incarcerations of elected officials has got to take its toll on the public confidence of elected officials.”

Durbin spoke during a conference call where he talked about his recent congressional trip to Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland.

Copyright @2015 WLS News


Breaking: Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been indicted

By Bill Cameron, WLS News

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been indicted

WLS Political Reporter, Bill Cameron, says the surprise federal indictment charged Denny Hastert with trying to cover up payments for undisclosed misconduct.

In 2010, the feds say Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million to an unnamed “Individual A” to compensate for and conceal his misconduct against this “Individual A.”  He had supposedly withdrawn $1.7 million of it in small amounts under $10,000 to avoid having to file reports on the withdrawals and then lying about it to the FBI.

Now, we’ve known Denny Hastert was involved in some controversial land deals near his Plano home, but we don’t know yet whether the misconduct charged here has anything to do with that.

@ Copyright 2015 WLS News