It’s been more than two decades since the Palumbo family’s construction companies were caught up in a corruption investigation that found widespread fraud committed by two of their businesses.
The family’s late patriarch Peter Palumbo and sons Sebastian and Joseph Palumbo were convicted in a related case and sent to prison.
And the Palumbo family’s companies were forever banned from getting state- or federally- funded work, though not municipally funded projects.
But a Palumbo family business that wasn’t involved in the 1990s scandal but faced the same bans has continued to get contracts from the village of Rosemont, records show. Orange Crush, LLC, has been paid more than $25 million by Rosemont since Bradley Stephens became mayor in 2007, records show.
Since the convictions, Orange Crush has given nearly $170,000 to campaign funds controlled by Stephens — who’s also a Republican state legislator seeking to hold onto that post in the Nov. 3 election — or funds benefiting him, campaign finance records show.
That includes $5,000 that went this year to Stephens’ legislative campaign fund, another $5,000 this year to the Stephens Political Action Committee NFP, $5,000 given last year to the campaign fund covering Stephens’ activities as Leyden Township’s Republican Party committeeman and $5,000 that went to his mayoral campaign fund in 2017, the records show.
Orange Crush’s political contributions to Stephens account for about 30% of the $575,000 the company has given to local politicians and political organizations over a span of more than 20 years, records show.
Stephens will face Democrat Michelle Darbro, a Chicago firefighter/paramedic backed by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, in November to represent a legislative district covering parts of Chicago’s Northwest Side and the northwest suburbs.
The Palumbo-run companies convicted in the corruption case were Palumbo Bros. Inc. and Monarch Asphalt Co. They