18 July 2012. The former campaign treasurer Dean Nichols, 62, of ex-Illinois State Senator Rickey Hendon, was charged along with 6 others with corruption following federal stings. They are charged with bribery conspiracy for allegedly paying kickbacks of $5,000 to a purported U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) official, who did not actually exist, in return for awarding $25,000 cash grants from the agency. There was no corrupt HHS official and no HHS grants were involved. “Instead, those elements were involved only as part of the scenario of the undercover investigation” stated a press release from the federal prosecutor’s office. Federal authorities allege that Nichols steered a State of Illinois grant of $50,000 to an organization operated by Nichols’ daughter from 2005 to 2006, and a $190,000 grant in 2007 to an organization operated by Hopkins with the understanding that a portion of the proceeds would go to Nichols and the state senator’s nephew.
Several of the defendants appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole.