Chicago Sun-Times

In strip club extortion case, brother of former Harvey mayor found guilty


A federal jury has convicted a brother of former Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg of extortion.

Rommell Kellogg was found guilty Monday of charges that accused him of collecting bribes from the since-closed Arnie’s Idle Hour in exchange for keeping officials in the south suburb from closing the strip club.

His cousin Corey Johnson pleaded guilty last month to acting as a bag man. He was accused of accepting bribes from the manager of the club, who was a federal informant.

Johnson collected about $500,000 from the club between 2003 and 2017 plus another $35,000, which the FBI had secretly provided to the club’s manager to pay bribes, in 2017 and 2018, prosecutor­s said.

They said Johnson passed the money to Rommell Kellogg.

When the payments were late, Harvey police officers were sent to the club to pressure the owners to cough up the money, authoritie­s said.

According to a federal criminal complaint filed in 2019, Eric Kellogg, while mayor, led the efforts to shake down the club, approachin­g the owner in 2003, demanding $3,000 a month, later doubling the amount.

But Eric Kellogg wasn’t charged. The complaint referred to him only as “Individual A” and “Mayor of the City of Harvey.” His last term in office ended in 2019.

Before Rommell Kellogg’s trial, he was instructed by U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman that he couldn’t present evidence that his brother Eric Kellogg was the “real target” of the investigat­ion or speculate why Eric Kellogg wasn’t charged in the case.

The judge also barred Rommell Kellogg from presenting an entrapment defense.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States