This article was last modified on May 27, 2014.

MP: August Taddeo

Mayor Constantine August Taddeo (generally known as August or Augie) had roots that ran deep in Melrose Park. His paternal grandparents settled on a farm there upon arriving from Italy in the 1880s.

After graduating from De Paul University Law School in 1957, he became a precinct captain. From 1961 to 1965, he was a justice of the peace in the township and was Stone Park village prosecutor from 1964 to 1972.

In 1969, Taddeo became township supervisor for Proviso Township in Cook County and held this position until his retirement in 1999. Upon his election to the position of township supervisor, Taddeo became a participant in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. In 1972, while maintaining his position as township supervisor, Taddeo became mayor of Melrose Park (when Jacob LaSpisa died in office) and served in that capacity from 1972 until 1997. Taddeo was defeated in April 1997 by attorney Ronald Serpico, in part because of Taddeo’s support for a then-controversial referendum proposal to break Commonwealth Edison’s hold on electricity distribution in the village.

In August 1999, Taddeo entered a guilty plea in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He admitted that, as mayor of Melrose Park, he had appointed Nicholas Spina to the position of village attorney from 1988 to 1994, in exchange for cash payments from Spina. As a result of the plea, Taddeo was convicted of extortion under the color of official right and making false statements on a federal income tax return, both felony offenses. Taddeo was sentenced to 27 months’ imprisonment, fined $40,000, and ordered to repay Spina the $11,000 extorted from him (although this was not from his salary but actually cash supplied by the FBI in a sting). In December 1999, Taddeo was notified that all of his pension benefits were being terminated as a result of his felony convictions.

Taddeo was sent to federal prison in Oxford, Wis. He was released in 2002 and now runs a drugstore on North Avenue in Melrose Park.

Taddeo appealed and won with regards to his pension. While he could not claim his Melrose Park benefits, he successfully argued that his crimes did not affect his work for Proviso. Taddeo now will get an annual benefit of just over $20,300, down from almost $59,000 he was receiving in 1999, based on retirement fund figures.

Also try another article under Organized Crime
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

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