A powerful Dem politician in Chicago was just charged with extortion. He has been a powerful figure in Chicago politics for years and this new indictment just goes to show the level of corruption in that city.
Rod Blagojevich will have company (as will Tony Rezko) in the slammer if the charges pan out as this crooked pol faces 20 years in the slammer.
This does make one question how Obama stayed out of trouble with so many around him going down, but that is a conversation for another day.
From Fox32: One of the most powerful City Council members in Chicago history has been charged with attempted extortion for “corruptly soliciting business” for his private law firm, according to a federal complaint unsealed Thursday.
If convicted, Alderman Ed Burke could face up to 20 years in prison. The charge follows November raids of the Democrat’s offices at City Hall and in his Southwest Side ward.
Burke’s law firm represented the high-rise tower that bears President Donald Trump’s name. There’s no indication the case is at all tied to his firm’s work for Trump.
The 75-year-old is one of the last of the old Chicago machine politicians. He’s been on the council for 50 years and has chaired its finance committee for the last three decades.
Burke joins a long list of Chicago lawmakers charged criminally, including ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving a 14-year prison term for corruption.
Burke said after November raids he was sure agents wouldn’t find anything “amiss.”
Burke’s law firm, Klafter & Burke, specializing in property-tax appeals and its former clients included Trump’s luxury tower in downtown Chicago. The Chicago-Sun Times reported in 2016 that the law firm saved building enterprise $14 million by appealing property tax bills over seven years.
From Chicago Sun-Times: Ald. Edward M. Burke allegedly tried to leverage Burger King executives to give his law firm business to clear the way for a remodeling project at one of their fast-food restaurants in his ward, federal prosecutors charged in a complaint made public Thursday.
The charges revolve around the Burger King location at 4060 S. Pulaski, the Sun-Times has confirmed. That location was thrust into the headlines after Laquan McDonald was fatally shot nearby 16 times by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in 2014.
The company sought support from Burke for the remodeling project, and he aggressively tried to land Burger King as a client for his firm to do property tax work, prosecutors allege.
Burke, 75, had no immediate comment on the 37-page criminal complaint as he left his lawyers’ office Thursday afternoon. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
As part of their investigation into Burke, federal agents secretly recorded some of his cellphone conversations, according to the complaint.
At one point, when the fast-food company officials had not yet hired Burke’s firm to do property tax appeal work, the firm’s specialty, Burke and one of his ward employees agree to turn the screws on them regarding permits they need.
“All right, I’ll play as hard ball as I can,” the ward employee says, according to the complaint.
“OK,” Burke replies.