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Chicago Alderman to get new ‘pin’ stripes…?

Posted by on Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 @ 11:26 pm.

From Illinois Policy Institute
Brad Weisenstein, Editor

CHICAGO, Ill. - Chicago Alderman Ed Burke was charged by federal prosecutors with a count of attempted extortion on January 3.

The charge states Burke tried to use his elected position to get legal work out of a fast food restaurant that sought his support for a remodeling project in 2017. Burke, 75, was due in federal court Thursday afternoon, prosecutors told the Chicago Sun-Times.

According to the FBI agent’s affidavit, executives from the fast food company sought Burke’s support for a building permit. Burke arranged to meet with the executives and “used his position as an Alderman — including his apparent ability to withhold his official support for the building permit and a related driveway permit — in order to corruptly solicit unlawful personal financial advantage in the form of fees arising from the retention of Burke’s law firm, Klafter and Burke.”

Burke declined comment when a Sun-Times reporter tried to question him outside his lawyer’s office Thursday.

FBI agents on Nov. 29 raided Burke’s City Hall office, and federal agents also were at his 14th Ward district office. Burke is by far the biggest fundraiser among Chicago’s 50 aldermen, known during his 50 years for his penchant for pinstriped suits.

For decades he’s chaired the City Council’s powerful Finance Committee, which controls city spending, as well as the city’s $100 million a year workers’ compensation system. His influence extends to judicial appointments and whether legislation moves forward.

His law firm handles property tax appeals, counting some of Chicago’s biggest businesses among its clients. Before Donald Trump became president, Burke’s firm handled the property tax appeal on Trump Tower in downtown Chicago.

Burke’s wife, Anne, is a justice on the Illinois Supreme Court.


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