Top Chicago Democrat Convicted on Bribery and Extortion Charges
A long-time Chicago Democrat and former alderman, Edward Burke, was found guilty of 13 federal corruption charges following a six-week trial.
Burke had served in the Chicago City Council for 54 years.
The Democrat now faces charges including racketeering, bribery, and attempted extortion.
Burke was a symbol of power and influence in Chicago for many years, and now his conviction has sent the Democratic establishment into a tailspin.
Burke was found guilty of 13 out of 14 charges.
The charges include corrupt transactions where he used his position for bribes and kickbacks.
The New York Post reported:
The 79-year-old Democrat was convicted on 13 of the 14 charges leveled against him in a 2019 federal indictment accusing the veteran Chicago City Council member of using his position to steer business from private developers to his law firm.
Prosecutors also alleged that Burke threatened to block a measure raising admission fees at Chicago’s famed Field Museum over its failure to grant an internship to the daughter of a former alderman, whom he had recommended.
Burke’s shakedown scheme targeted the developer working on a $600 million renovation of Chicago’s Old Post Office, a Burger King in the former alderman’s 14th Ward and Midwest liquor store chain Binny’s Beverage Depot.
“Did we land the, uh, tuna?” Burke told former Alderman Danny Solis, who wore a wire for two years as federal authorities investigated the case, in an apparent reference to his desire to land the Old Post Office developer as a client for his law firm specializing in property tax appeals.
In another recording played for the jury, Burke told Solis that the developers could “go f–k themselves” if they thought they would get favorable treatment from him without their business.
The disgraced city official also repeatedly played up that he could help the developer – 601W Companies LLC of New York – in a dispute with Amtrak because of his close ties with a board member for the rail operator.
“We made his daughter a judge here in Cook County. And one of their other daughters is a friend of my daughter … You’ll find out Chicago is a very small town,” Burke said in one recording.
“Jews are Jews, and they’ll deal with Jews to the exclusion of everybody else … unless there’s a reason for them to use a Christian,” Burke also told his colleague, referring to the lead developer of the Old Post Office renovation project, who is Jewish. Burke is Roman Catholic.
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