A key figure in the federal investigation of the city's Hired Truck Program was critically injured in a fall from a horse this weekend.
Nick M. LoCoco possibly suffered brain damage in the fall, according to his attorney, Gerald J. Collins.
People at the scene said LoCoco's horse was galloping quickly when it suddenly stopped, Nieland said.
LoCoco was taken on advanced life support to St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields and then transferred to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. He was in critical condition Monday night, Loyola spokeswoman Sandra Martinez said.
Collins said LoCoco owns a horse and might have a financial interest in horse breeding.
LoCoco, 64, a former key player in doling out business in the Hired Truck Program, was charged last month with making as much as $90,000 a year by secretly owning a truck that did work as part of the program. The charges alleged that LoCoco hired his own truck to do business for the city while he was a general foreman for the city's Department of Transportation.
To conceal LoCoco's involvement, an intermediary persuaded an undisclosed truck company owner to make it appear LoCoco's truck was part of the owner's fleet, according to the charges. In return, the owner got a second truck assigned regular work in Hired Truck, authorities said. According to the charges, LoCoco obstructed the investigation by urging the owner to lie to the grand jury investigating the scandal-plagued program.
LoCoco was arrested Oct. 8, but he was released later that day on $25,000 bail secured by his home in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood.
The ongoing federal investigation of Hired Truck has resulted in charges against nine people, seven of them former city employees.
LoCoco retired from his city post in 2002.
LoCoco, nicknamed "the Stick," was shot in 1987 by another city worker who said LoCoco had threatened violence while trying to collect on a loan, according to a Tribune article. The bullet grazed LoCoco's head, but he declined to press charges, saying, "I just want to get on with my life."
Tribune staff reporter Ray Gibson contributed to this report.