By Bob Skolnik
Embattled State Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) announced on Wednesday that he will resign in January from his seat in the Illinois General Assembly, according to multiple published reports. Sandoval has kept a very low profile, not appearing for his official duties, since Sept. 24, when federal agents raided his offices in Springfield and Cicero, along with his Chicago home.
Sandoval, whose 11th District includes the portion of Riverside south of the BNSF railroad tracks, has served in the state senate for 16 years and had been the chairman of the Senate's Transportation Committee until resigning that post after the raid.
Sandoval's resignation will be effective in January. Candidates to succeed him can file nominating petitions during a special filing period from Dec. 3 to Dec. 9 to run in the March 17 primary to get on the November ballot for the race to serve out the final two years of his term. Democratic ward and township committeemen from the 11th District, which ranges from the southwest side of Chicago to Lyons and McCook, will meet after Sandoval's resignation in January becomes effective to pick a replacement to serve for the remainder of 2020 until the winner of the 2020 election is seated in January 2021.
Shortly after the raid on Sandoval's office, federal agents also served search warrants on the village halls of Lyons and McCook. In mid-November McCook mayor Jeffery Tobolski, who also serves as a member of the Cook County board, resigned his positions a chairman of the county board's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Committee and as chairman of the Veterans Committee as well as his vice chairmanship of the Labor Committee after being requested to do so by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Tobolski, who like Sandoval, has not been seen in public since the raids, cited health reasons for resigning his committee chairmanships.
To date, neither Sandoval nor Tobolski have been charged with a crime.
Last year Sandoval and Tobolski attended a packed meeting of the Lyons School District 103 Board of Education after it was revealed that the school district had unknowingly hired a man who was facing charges of attempted murder to teach English at George Washington Middle School. At the meeting Sandoval spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting and called for then interim superintendents Patrick Patt and Robert Madonia to resign. Sandoval also vowed to pass a bill that beefs up the information reported on background checks for teachers to include serious criminal charges. That bill eventually passed and became law this year.