Chicago Treasurer Pleads Guilty, Quits

October 27, 2000 ( - Chicago City Treasurer Miriam Santos abruptly resigned from her office today, just two weeks before her scheduled retrial on charges of mail fraud and attempted extortion in threatening to cut off city business from a brokerage firm.

Santos pled guilty to one count of mail fraud, according to the Chicago Tribune. She faces a $1,000 fine and restitution of $20,000, according to prosecutors.

“This morning I have concluded my life as a public figure,” Santos said following a court hearing at the Dirksen Federal Building.

The count of mail fraud related to a letter Santos sent to an attorney who had hosted a campaign fundraiser for her. Santos admitted the letter was prepared on city time by a treasurer’s office employee. Prosecutors said the issue in Santos’ case was not what she did personally, but what she had city workers do on her behalf.

Instead of facing a prison sentence she will be granted time served for the more than three months she spent in prison following her conviction by a federal jury in May 1999, according to prosecutors.

Santos was facing a November 13 retrial. She was convicted in May 1999, but the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the conviction on in January after Santos had already served a portion of her 40-month prison sentence. She had returned to her office in April.

US District Court Judge George Lindberg must still accept Santos’ plea.