Former City of Chicago Tow Truck Driver Lennie Perry was sentenced to 9 years in prison for a bribery scheme conducted while a City employee.
An investigation by the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) in conjunction with the Office of the Cook County’s State’s Attorney and the Chicago Police Department revealed that Lennie Perry, a Pool Motor Truck Driver for the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS), on three separate occasions and while on duty as a City tow truck driver, solicited bribes from victims in exchange for returning the cars that he had towed.
Testimony and evidence at trial on an indictment charging Perry with two felony counts of bribery and two felony counts of official misconduct indicated that on September 19, 2014, in the late hours of the evening, a vehicle owner parked at Columbus and Balboa returned from sight-seeing to find her vehicle had been towed. She flagged down a City of Chicago tow truck sitting near-by to ask for assistance. She encountered Perry who told her that if she would pay him $150 in cash, the vehicle would be returned. When she told him that she did not have any money, he directed her to his wife, Arica Reed-Perry, who was parked in a vehicle across the street. Reed-Perry drove the victim to a near-by ATM and subsequently dropped her at her vehicle after receiving the requested $150. The victim immediately reported the crime to the Chicago Police Department. While reporting the crime, Reed-Perry was observed driving by and was immediately apprehended by responding CPD officers. She admitted Perry instructed her to drive the victim to an ATM to get money before returning the victim to her car. The evidence at trial further established that Perry and Reed-Perry acted in concert on this, as well as two other occasions revealed during a broader OIG investigation. On the two additional occasions, Perry was identified as having towed the cars of victims (who had also parked their cars in the downtown area while sight-seeing) and then solicited payments of $100 and $150 respectively from each for the return of their vehicles. Perry, who was previously fired by the City for his criminal conduct, was found guilty on all four counts for which he was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Flood to nine years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Perry’s wife, Arica Reed-Perry, separately pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft her role in the scheme, and for which she was sentenced to 24 months of second chance probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $150.
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