State

4-year fraud sentence for ex-Cook County official

CHICAGO — A former Cook County official has been sentenced to just over four years in federal prison for steering no-bid contracts to acquaintances and reaping thousands of dollars in kickbacks.

A U.S. district judge in Chicago imposed the punishment for Eugene Mullins Friday. In a trial last year, jurors found the one-time director of communications for former Cook County President Todd Stroger guilty of wire fraud and accepting kickbacks.

The contracts were worth less than $25,000 and involved promoting awareness of various issues, including the 2010 U.S. Census. Prosecutors say Mullins pocketed nearly $35,000 in kickbacks.

The defense maintained there was no fraud connected to the contracts.

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