The onetime owner of a Joliet landfill that was the subject of a legendary feud that turned federal authorities' attention to Rod Blagojevich in 2005, has been charged with tax evasion.
Frank Schmidt, 40, of Glenview, was charged with five counts of tax evasion tied to allegedly failing to pay $2 million in taxes owed on more than $11 million in income over the last five years.
Schmidt was the sole owner of Land Reclamation Services landfill.
In January 2005, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich ordered state environmental workers to shut down the owned by Schmidt -- a relative of Blagojevich's wife, Patti, and of his father-in-law, powerful Chicago Ald. Richard Mell (33rd).
Blagojevich's administration had accused Schmidt of accepting illegal waste and of "using his ties to the Blagojevich family to solicit" business for an illegal-dumping operation.
Mell, in turn, publicly accused his son-in-law of trumping up the charges against Schmidt so Blagojevich could ride in like a political "white knight" at a time when his top campaign fund-raisers were -- as the fund-raisers' subsequent convictions would prove -- trading plum state-government appointments for hefty contributions to his Friends of Blagojevich campaign fund.