Sen. Cullerton records subpoenaed.
State Senator Tom Cullerton (left) is pictured here speaking with a guest at a senior fair he hosted in 2017. Cullerton recently had his records subpoenaed by federal prosecutors regarding the indictment of Teamsters Union Boss John Coli Sr. Cullerton has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

By Dee Longfellow

For The Elmhurst Independent


On Saturday, April 13, the Independent learned that the records of State Senator (IL-23) Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) are the subject of a subpoena by Federal investigators who are looking into alleged extortion charges against a former Teamsters union boss.

On Feb. 5, the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago subpoenaed Senate records for Cullerton’s emails, legislative attendance records, personnel files and other documents related to reimbursements for travel including lodging, meals and vehicle allowances from Feb. 1, 2013, through March 3, 2016.

Cullerton, 49, has served in the Senate since 2013 and has not been accused of wrongdoing. He declined to comment Thursday. His office directed all inquiries to the U.S. attorney’s office.


Records demanded to assist in indictment of Coli

The federal grand jury has indicted former Teamsters Joint Council 25 President John Coli Sr. on charges alleging he extorted a Chicago film studio of $325,000 since 2014. Coli was indicted in 2017 on charges alleging he extorted the money by threatening labor unrest at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, which films the popular NBC shows “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.”

Coli resigned from his union job when he was first indicted in July 2017. The former union boss was a high-profile supporter of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual and also weighed in on national politics. Coli pleaded not guilty and the next hearing in his case is set for May 3. According to Federal records, plea negotiations in the case have been ongoing.

Cullerton, who was a member of the Teamsters Union before becoming a State elected official, received nearly $183,000 from 2013 to 2015 from the Teamsters Joint Council 25, according to state and federal records. Cullerton has garnered wide-spread support form labor groups, and the Teamsters have contributed nearly $96,000 to Cullerton’s campaign fund since 2012, according to state campaign finance records. A December, 2017 fundraiser held by the Joint Council raised more than $70,000 for Cullerton’s campaign, records show.

Paul DelGuidice contributed to


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