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Roberto Maldonado
Roberto Maldonado December 2013.png
Member of the Chicago City Council
from the 26th ward
Assumed office
August 2009
Preceded byBilly Ocasio
Member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners
from the 8th district
In office
December 1994 (1994-12) – August 2009
Preceded byDistrict Created
Succeeded byEdwin Reyes
Personal details
Born (1951-08-28) August 28, 1951 (age 70)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras (BA, MA)
Loyola University Chicago

Roberto Maldonado is the alderman of the 26th Ward of the City of Chicago, Illinois.

Early life, education, and early career, Children

Maldonado earned both his undergraduate and his master's degree from the University of Puerto Rico. In Chicago, Maldonado continued his education at Loyola University Chicago where he intended to earn a doctorate of philosophy in clinical psychology.[citation needed]

Roberto has one child named Roberto ll, he currently attends Ogden International High School. In 1986 Maldonado briefly was married to the sister of Luis Gutiérrez, United States Representative and former 26th ward alderman.[1][2] Maldonado was an employee of Gutiérrez's 1986 aldermanic campaign and of Gutiérrez's 1987 re-election campaign. Maldonado worked as school psychologist. Maldonado worked as a research analyst to the Mayor’s Commission on Latino Affairs. In 1988 Maldonado was Director of Management Services for the Mayor's Office of Employment Training, the agency's top purchasing official, in charge of the office's $1 million annual purchasing budget. Maldonado doled out hundreds of thousands of dollars in business to companies owned by people in Gutierrez's Puerto Rican political circle, then solicited campaign contributions for Gutierrez from those and other Office of Employment and Training vendors. Maldonado resigned the City post days after the publication of an investigative report by the Chicago Sun-Times.[1][2]

Cook County Commissioner

Maldonado’s election in 1994 as Cook County Commissioner made him the first Puerto Rican in the nation to serve as a county commissioner.[citation needed]

As a commissioner, Maldonado was Chairperson of the Stroger and Cermak Hospitals, and Law Enforcement and Corrections Committees. Additionally, he served on nine committees: Business and Economic Development, Contract Compliance, Labor, Real Estate, Department of Corrections, Health and Hospitals, Finance, Zoning and Buildings, and Roads and Bridges.[citation needed]

Chicago Alderman

On July 28, 2009, Maldonado was appointed by Chicago Mayor Daley as the alderman for Chicago's 26th Ward.[3]

Maldonado owns more real estate than any other alderman, with 16 properties (including ten in the 26th Ward), according to financial disclosure statements.[2]

In 2013, Maldonado generated controversy through his efforts to convert Ames Middle School into a Marines academy. The school board ultimately approved the proposal despite significant local opposition.[4]

In 2015, despite majority local support of the Riot Fest music festival, Maldonado vocally opposed allowing the event to continue using Humboldt Park.[5][6] The festival ultimately relocated to North Lawndale.[7]

In 2017, a video surfaced of Maldonado confronting police officers at a crime scene in his neighborhood, and attempting to use his status as an alderman to have police allow him to drive through an active crime scene. In the video, the alderman's response to the officers not allowing him to drive through the crime scene was “You know what? This why the Police Department in such bad shape with the citizens.” Maldonado later filed a complaint accusing the officers of "rude and discourteous" behavior towards him.[8]

In 2019, he was selected as the chairman of the Council's Latino Caucus by his fellow caucus members.[9]

Running for Congress

Maldonado announced in 2007 his intention to run in 2008 for the congressional seat expected to be vacated by U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.). He raised $230,000 before Gutiérrez decided to run again. Maldonado bowed out of the race and said he'd keep the money for a 2010 congressional bid.[10]


  1. ^ a b Nelson, Deborah; Brown, Mark (1988-01-28). "Firing clouts an alderman". Chicago Sun-Times. ((cite news)): External link in |work= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Joravsky, Ben; Dumke, Mick (2009-08-20). "The Real Estate King of the Chicago City Council; Brand-new 26th Ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado owns more properties than any other council rep—including ten in his own ward. That's a lot of potential conflicts of interest". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2010-10-17. ((cite news)): External link in |work= (help)
  3. ^ Spielman, Fran (July 28, 2009). "Daley appoints Maldonado as 26th Ward alderman". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved July 28, 2009.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2014-01-02.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Emails about Riot Fest show impassioned debate about festival's location". Chicago Tribune.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-03. Retrieved 2015-05-16.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Riot Fest Announces Move to Douglas Park for 2015".
  8. ^ "Alderman says cops were rude — they say he was trying to use clout | Chicago Sun-Times". Archived from the original on 2017-07-22.
  9. ^ Morell, Claudia. "City Hall's Latino Caucus Moves Left". Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  10. ^ Rhodes, Steve (July 28, 2009). "Meet Daley's New Alderman". NBC Universal, Inc. Retrieved 28 July 2009.