Charles Sikanich, superintendent for 45th Ward Ald. Jim Gardiner, accused of trying sell machine gun while working
CHICAGO (CBS) — In the latest chapter in a troubled saga for the Northwest Side’s 45th Ward, Ald. Jim Gardiner’s superintendent is now accused of trying to sell a machine gun while on the clock.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported Tuesday night, the attorney for 45th Ward Supt. Charles Sikanich said the gun in question is a World War II antique handed down from his grandfather and was inoperable.
But the Illinois Attorney General’s office tells a different story.
As Sikanich was arrested this week on official misconduct and weapons charges, documents show he “repeatedly asked to contact Alderman Gardiner prior to being placed into custody.”
Ald. Jim Gardiner, of course, is Sikanich’s boss.
Nobody opened the door when we stopped at Gardiner’s office for comment, and it appeared Sikanich’s dogs were the only ones home when we went knocking.
As Gardiner’s right-hand man, Sikanich oversees sanitation services for the ward and makes over $100,000 a year. He is now accused of trying to sell an MP 40 fully-automatic machine gun while on the clock and in a city car to an undercover agent.
The MP 40 is an illegal style of weapon to own an Illinois.
The Attorney General said that when Sikanich met with the undercover, he “allegedly indicated he would have his mother complete the illegal transaction, as he hoped to avoid complications to his role as a superintendent of Chicago’s 45th Ward.”
His mom is also a city employee.
Sara Gronkiewicz-Doran-United Northwest Side
“It’s really concerning to me as a 45th Ward resident, because when I call 311 or put in a request in an app, that request goes to Charles Sikanich,” said Sara Gronkiewicz-Doran of United Northwest Side.
The embattled Ald. Gardiner is the target of a separate federal probe for allegedly retaliating against constituents and withholding services for political gain.
Last fall, Gardiner apologized at a City Council meeting after leaked text messages from a former staffer showed that he used misogynist and derogatory language towards colleagues and constituents.
Ward residents continue to demand change.
“The right thing to happen would be for both Sikanich and Gardiner to step down immediately, as they are no longer in positions to be in public trust,” said Gronkiewicz-Doran.
The Department of Streets and Sanitation declined to comment of personnel matters.
Bond for Sikanich was set at $100,000.
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