JEFFERSON PARK — A Northwest Side ward superintendent facing federal charges for allegedly attempting to sell an illegal machine gun has been fired from his job.
Charles Sikanich, Ald. Jim Gardiner’s ward superintendent who oversaw sanitation services in the 45th Ward, was fired from the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation, spokesperson Mimi Simon told Block Club.
Sikanich was fired last week and his position has yet to be filled, Simon said.
The former ward superintendent had been on a leave of absence since April 27, two days after he was arrested and charged, according to work history documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act Request and shared with Block Club.
Sikanich is under federal investigation for trying to sell a World War II heirloom illegal machine gun while on the clock for his government job. In April, he was charged with possession and attempted sale of that gun, according to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Sikanich was also charged with official misconduct.
The case was first investigated by the local division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the city’s Office of Inspector General last year. The ATF confiscated the machine gun from Sikanich last summer, Block Club previously reported.
Machine guns are illegal in Illinois, and people caught with them could face three to seven years in prison. Sentencing guidelines vary, with recommendations between six and 30 years if the weapon is found to be loaded or in a vehicle.
Authorities said Sikanich arranged to sell an MP-40 fully automatic machine gun to an undercover ATF agent while on the job. ATF agents staking out the prearranged meeting spot saw Sikanich arriving in a city Department of Streets and Sanitation vehicle, the attorney general’s office previously said.
A later review of Sikanich’s city timesheets showed he was clocked in at the time he allegedly tried to sell the weapon, the attorney general’s office said. During the meeting, Sikanich said “he would have his mother complete the illegal transaction, as he hoped to avoid complications” to his ward job, according to the attorney general’s office.
The investigation is pending and is currently undergoing the pre-trial process before it goes to court, according to documents filed earlier this month in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Sikanich, his attorney James P. McKay, Jr. and Gardiner’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sikanich is involved in other lawsuits as well. In one case, Sikanich is accused of having his mom, who works for the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, pull old police records in a revenge plot against an Irving Park resident who is a vocal critic of Gardiner.
Gardiner allegedly planned to leak the documents, according to the lawsuit and past text messages between him and a former staffer.
That matter was referred to the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office of Inspector General.
Sikanich and Gardiner are being sued in federal court by Benjamin George, a former 45th Ward resident. George claims the duo and seven police officers falsely accused him of a crime, harassed him and had him arrested over a lost cell phone.
Earlier this year, a judge ruled the case is moving forward despite efforts from Gardiner’s attorney to have the case dismissed.
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