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3 Sentenced in Ill. License Plot

February 27, 1999

CHICAGO (AP) _ A federal judge imposed prison terms on three defendants and house arrest on a fourth Friday in their plot to sell truck driver’s licenses to pay for Gov. George Ryan’s political fund-raising tickets.

Mary Ann Mastrodomenico, former manager of the driver’s license facility, was sentenced to five months in prison and five months of home confinement, scaled back from a possible 20-year sentence because she cooperated with prosecutors and has a sick father.

Judge Suzanne Conlon brushed aside her claim that aides for Ryan, the former secretary of state who was elected governor in November, pressured her to sell $20,000 a year in tickets.

``There’s certainly no evidence that Ms. Mastrodomenico’s supervisor pressured her to extort money or take bribes,″ Conlon said.

Truck mechanic Mike Dobrosavljevich got 14 months in prison and two years of supervision, driving instructor Janusz Krzyzak got 10 months in prison and two years of supervision and Carmen Fajdich, a retired state employee, got one year of home confinement.

The four pleaded guilty to charges that included racketeering, conspiracy for accepting bribes for the licenses, or recruiting those who paid the bribes.

Prosecutors said licensing officials filled in the answers on written commercial driver’s license exams for unqualified drivers who had paid bribes. Those drivers were then given permits indicating they had passed all necessary tests.

In other cases, trucking firms paid the bribes to assure that their applicants received proper licenses, prosecutors said.

Some of the money taken as bribes had been used to pay for tickets to Ryan’s fundraisers.

U.S. Attorney Scott Lassar told reporters that the investigation is continuing but that Ryan is not a target. He would not give more details.

Ryan had ordered as many as 3,000 truck drivers to be retested after the scandal became public.

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