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CHICAGO MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPT
TO BRIBE OFFICER

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Thursday, May 13, 2010— A Chicago man is free on $20,000 bond after he was arrested for attempting to bribe a Cook County Sheriff’s gang investigator who pulled him over for a traffic offense, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.
That investigator took the money – directly to sheriff’s police headquarters, along with the suspect.

Edward SkopekEdward Skopek, 58, of the 2000 block of North Kenneth Street, is charged with bribery of a public official, a felony. He was arrested and appeared in Maywood bond court last week.

Skopek, who told the investigator his “street name” is “Fast Eddie” was southbound on 1st Avenue in Maywood around 3:20 p.m. on May 5.
Cook County Sheriff’s Gang Investigator Matthew Gena was also southbound and saw Skopek throw something from his driver’s side window.

Investigator Gena called in the vehicle’s license plate and learned it was registered to Skopek, whose driver’s license is suspended. That’s when he pulled Skopek’s car over.

Investigator Gena confirmed it was Skopek behind the wheel before he brought up his suspended license and asked him to exit his silver 1992 Cadillac Deville.

Skopek replied “come on officer, I ain’t a bad guy. Can’t you cut me a break?”
Investigator Gena again instructed him to exit the vehicle, leading Skopek to ask “would you take 40 bucks? I’ll give you 40 bucks. Just let me go.”

Investigator Gena informed Skopek that bribery is illegal and again asked him to exit the vehicle, which he did. Skopek was then handcuffed and led to the back of the investigator’s vehicle.

“I am really sorry if I insulted you officer … I am sorry about that,” Skopek continued. Investigators searched Skopek’s car and found a plastic cup in the console, filled with ice and a clear liquid which smelled of alcohol. Skopek admitted it was an alcoholic beverage and he was also charged with illegal transportation of alcohol.

The $40 cash Skopek offered was inventoried and Skopek was taken to the sheriff’s Maywood lockup. He appeared in Maywood bond court on May 6. His next court date is set for Tuesday.

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