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Key dates in the bribes-for-licenses scandal

Key events in the bribes-for-licenses scandal at the Illinois secretary of state's office:

* March 9, 1993: Law officers raid the Libertyville driver's license station. Dean Bauer, inspector general for the secretary of state, allegedly removes briefcase full of cash and campaign fund-raising receipts during raid.

* Nov. 8, 1994: A part falls off a truck near Milwaukee, causing an accident that kills six children. The driver, Ricardo Guzman, got his license from a Melrose Park driver's license facility.

* Sept. 3, 1998: Federal agents raid Melrose Park driver's license facility, arresting two current and one former employee on extortion charges.

* Sept. 15, 1998: Then-Secretary of State George Ryan orders the retesting of as many as 3,000 drivers who went to five Chicago-area testing facilities.

* Nov. 12, 1998: A former employee of the secretary of state's office and a commercial driving school instructor plead guilty to helping applicants get commercial truck driving permits for cash.

* Nov. 23, 1998: Two former secretary of state employees at a Melrose Park facility plead guilty in conspiracy. They allegedly used some of the money to buy fund-raising tickets for Ryan's campaign for governor.

* April 6, 1999: Six people are charged with accepting bribes for licenses.

* Sept. 27, 1999: A former trucking company official admits he paid to fix the license test of the driver involved in the crash that killed six children.

* Jan. 27, 2000: Ryan apologizes for corruption in his former office.

* Feb. 1, 2000: Bauer is indicted on federal charges of thwarting investigations and hiding evidence.

* Feb. 9, 2000: Bauer pleads not guilty.

* March 9, 2000: Ryan denies knowing about corruption when he was secretary of state.

* April 6, 2000: Five of 40 truck drivers called for a retest because of the state's drivers license scandal pass the driving test.

* May 30, 2000: The former manager of a truck driver licensing center testifies she fixed tests for $200 apiece and pumped the cash into Ryan's campaign fund.

* July 2, 2000: Federal and state investigators identify nearly 3,000 people with suspicious commercial drivers licenses from Illinois and Florida.

* Aug. 3, 2000: Bauer pleads not guilty to federal charges he covered up evidence of corruption to protect Ryan's political interests.

* Jan. 17, 2001: Bauer pleads guilty to obstructing justice in the license investigation.

* Aug. 8, 2001: Ryan announces he won't seek a second term as governor.

* Aug. 22, 2001: Driving school owner is sentenced to one year and one day in prison and fined $30,000 for bribing state officials for commercial licenses for students.

* Oct. 5, 2001: Former road test examiner Dina Bartucci-Miller is sentenced to 10 months in prison for taking $40,000 in bribes for passing unqualified drivers.

* Oct. 9, 2001: Three men are indicted for taking bribes from unqualified commercial drivers license applicants who went to Florida to get licenses via fraud. That brings to 44 the number of people charged with crimes in the investigation.

* Jan. 31, 2002: Campaign reports show Ryan spent more than $1 million from his campaign fund to pay lawyers in 2001, mostly for work related to the federal investigation.

* March 6, 2002: Former GOP party official and secretary of state employee, John Spahn, is sentenced to 10 months in prison and fined $40,000 for taking bribes.

* April 2, 2002: Gov. George Ryan's campaign and two top former aides, Scott Fawell and Richard Juliano, are indicted for allegedly using state resources to benefit the political campaigns of Ryan and others.


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