Former Alderman Ed Vrdolyak, gestures in council chambers during Mayor Harold Washington’s first term. | Photo: Lee Balgemann (Library of Congress)

CHICAGO - A former Chicago alderman convicted of tax evasion has sought an early release from prison due to his age, medical conditions and the omicron-fueled COVID-19 surge.

Attorneys for Edward Vrdolyak filed an emergency petition Friday, according to The Chicago Tribune.[1]

Attorneys said the 84-year-old suffers from medical conditions including dementia and has a compromised immune system that would put him at higher risk for severe illness or death.

The motion seeks that his sentence be reduced to time served.

A hearing for the motion has not been set.

Vrdolyak began serving his sentence in November after several delays related to the pandemic.[2] He's a former Chicago alderman nicknamed “Fast Eddie” for his backroom dealing.

He pleaded guilty in March 2019 to a tax charge alleging that he obstructed an IRS investigation into payments to and from his friend and associate related to Illinois’ $9.3 billion settlement with tobacco companies in the late 1990s. Prosecutors said Vrdolyak had been paid at least $12 million in fees stemming from the settlement even though he did no legal work on the case.

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Notes & References

  1. Meisner, Jason. “Former Chicago Ald. 'Fast Eddie' Vrdolyak Cites Age, Omicron Surge in Asking for Emergency Release from Prison.” Chicago Tribune, January 15, 2022. ↩︎

  2. “Ex-Chicago Alderman to Begin Serving Tax Evasion Sentence.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, November 2, 2021. ↩︎