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Grand jury indicts former lawmaker in Operation Safe Road

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Associated Press WriterCHICAGO (AP) -- A federal grand jury has indicted businessman and former state lawmaker Roger Stanley on charges that he paid bribes to win $4 million in contracts with the commuter rail system Metra, the U.S. attorney said Wednesday.

Two other men were also indicted, including a state official and Stanley's business partner, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said.

Stanley, a former Republican state representative, is a mail consultant whose companies have done thousands of dollars worth of business with Illinois House members.

Fitzgerald said the bribes were paid to Donald Udstuen, a former member of the commuter rail organization's board of directors.

"Bribing public officials is an unacceptable way of doing business. It is particularly disturbing when, as alleged in this case, the bribery takes place over more than a decade," Fitzgerald said.

Udstuen, also the former chief lobbyist for the Illinois State Medical Society, was charged in May with tax fraud conspiracy. He was indicted along with two other men, including a close friend to Gov. George Ryan.

Prosecutors have said Udstuen is cooperating with the government and will plead guilty.

Wednesday's five-count indictment involved $130,000 in bribe payments to Udstuen to secure the Metra contracts. Stanley's business partner, Robert Doyle, and attorney Stanley Stewart were also indicted. Stewart, currently assistant general counsel in the Illinois Office of Banks and Real Estate, allegedly served as a conduit to disguise the illegal payments.

The charges are an outgrowth of the federal government's four-year Operation Safe Road investigation, which began with disclosures that bribes were paid in exchange for Illinois drivers licenses. Recently, it has focused on other corruption when Ryan was secretary of state. The governor has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

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