Longtime Chicago Democrat Leader Ed Burke Sentenced to Prison on 13 Corruption Convictions, Receives Light Sentence

Former Chicago Alderman Ed Burke/Image: Video screenshot

Former Alderman Ed Burke, the longest-serving City Council member in Chicago history with a 54-year tenure, has been a Democrat powerhouse in the Windy City for decades.

In December, a federal jury convicted Burke, 80, on 13 corruption counts tied to using his position and power to win private law business from developers in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

During the trial, prosecutors said Burke used his considerable power as a long-serving alderman to steer business toward his law firm, Klafter & Burke,  and to pressure companies to use his firm if they wanted his support with the bureaucratic issues they encountered.

Prosecutors also said Burke threatened to block the Field Museum’s attempt to raise their entry fee because the museum did not provide an internship to his goddaughter.

He was found guilty of racketeering, corruptly soliciting, demanding, accepting, or agreeing to accept things of value, using an interstate facility to promote unlawful activity, and attempted extortion.

Although under the law, the racketeering and extortion counts were each punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, the soliciting counts carry a ten-year sentence, and lying to the FBI includes a five-year sentence; on Monday, Burke was sentenced to only two years in prison and fined $2 million.

At sentencing, it pays to be a Democrat.

Fox 32 reports:

FBI agents built a corruption case against former Chicago Alderman Danny Solis, who then agreed to cooperate with the feds and wear a wire.

“He wore a concealed recording device. He recorded in-person meetings he had with Ed Burke. He recorded telephone conversations he had with Ed Burke,” said Rice.

Later, investigators were able to obtain a warrant to tap Burke’s phone.

“According to court documents, they intercepted over 9,000 conversations during an eight to ten-month period,” said Rice.

 

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