CHICAGO (CBS) — Get out now.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot doubles down on her demand for longtime Ald. Ed Burke (14th) to resign. It’s an extraordinary move from City Hall.
CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley reports that she is determined to get him out.
As a former federal prosecutor who worked on City Hall corruption cases, Mayor Lightfoot said she’s never seen another Chicago politician charged in as many corruption schemes as Ald. Ed Burke now faces.
“This is an indictment where he is quoted because they had a wire up on his cellphone,” said Lightfoot. “The words of Ed Burke himself are the most damning that are laid out in the superseding indictment.”
Indeed, the Ed Burke quotes are both revealing and racy.
Burke allegedly put the squeeze on developers renovating the Old Post Office, seeking legal work for his law firm in exchange for his assistance with permits and support of a TIF subsidy.
On January 25, 2017, Burke told Ald. Danny Solis (25th) he wouldn’t lift a finger to help the developers because “the cash register has not rung yet.”
On May 26, 2017, Burke asked Solis about the developers hiring his law firm, saying…
“So, did we land the, uh, tuna?”
And on October 17, 2017, Burke expressed anger the developers had not signed on, saying…
“As far as I’m concerned, they can go “f”-themselves.”
Eventually, the Old Post Office developers hired Burke’s law firm, and Burke backed the TIF subsidy. Lightfoot said what makes this indictment extraordinary is the number of instances in which Burke is allegedly using his position to line his pockets.
“The indictment alleges years long course of conduct in which he is repeatedly, in different circumstances unconnected with each other, trying to pressure third parties to hire his law firm in return for providing government access and services,” Lightfoot said.
The indictment also indicated as Zoning Chairman, Ald. Danny Solis was key to Burke’s schemes and was offered payments for bringing law clients to Burke.
In a statement issued by his attorney, Ald. Burke denied any wrongdoing.
He’ll get his first day in court to face these new federal charges next Tuesday.
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