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*** UPDATED x1 *** FBI raids Ald. Austin’s ward office

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019

* Sun-Times

FBI agents executed a search warrant Wednesday morning on the Far South Side ward office of Ald. Carrie Austin (34th).

The search marks the latest step in an ongoing, widespread federal investigation of Chicago aldermen.

So far, Ald. Edward M. Burke has been indicted on political corruption charges, and former Ald. Danny Solis has cooperated with the investigation by wearing a wire for the feds and secretly recording conversations. Burke has denied any wrongdoing, and Austin has not been charged with any crimes.

Ironically, Austin spent part of her morning with Mayor Lori Lightfoot at an event at Julian High School where a summer mentoring program was announced.

Lightfoot moved Ald. Austin out of her Budget Committee chairperson’s slot and replaced her with Ald. Pat Dowell.

…Adding… A little video…



*** UPDATE *** Greg Hinz

According to a knowledgeable source close to the matter, the feds are not looking at alleged official misuse of the office as they were with Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, who has been accused of racketeering and extortion of builders and others. Rather, the current probe relates to use of campaign money, of which Austin had plenty as (until recently) chairwoman of the powerful City Council Budget Committee.

The feds specifically are examining business deals, in both the city and suburbs, involving Austin and members of her staff, my source says. The investigation has been going on “many months,” is said to be “very solid” and may yet head in some directions that have not yet become public.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    Alderman Austin has the second-longest tenure at 25 years. (half of Ed Burke’s 50 years)


  2. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    Equality for women…..


  3. - Steve - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 1:26 pm:

    It appears this investigation of Chicago’s City Council isn’t about nickle dimers.


  4. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 1:26 pm:

    Maybe someone with more federal investigations experience speak to this better, but it seems like this is an ongoing investigation for the feds. So more shoes can drop on anyone else at any time.


  5. - Boone's is Back - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 1:33 pm:

    Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at that event in the morning. Awkward….


  6. - Regular democrat - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 1:35 pm:

    When this is over the new mayor wil have so many people in the council that she appointed that she wont have to worry about any close votes


  7. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    A win for Lightfoot, especially after so much grumbling about removing Austin as Chair. Just like when she was getting criticized about being too hard on Burke during the first council meeting and he was indicted shortly afterwards.


  8. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    If there weren’t some up on state charges and some with federal ones, they could just set up a special bond court / pretrial services branch right at City Hall to accommodate the 10% or so of the council members who need such services.


  9. - Bavette - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    How many Aldermen does Chicago need under investigation and or indicted and convicted of corruption before we can reduce the size of the city council and save millions annually?


  10. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    The FBI car has to Illinois plates? I thought they would have a federal plate. Do they buy them or get them free?


  11. - Greenpeace - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    The General Assembly voted to eliminate the Toll Highway Board so that the Governor could reconstitute with new members because of ethical issues.

    Can he do the same with the Chicago City Council. /s


  12. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    @Greenpeace

    We just had an election for all 50 of them, and the voters reconstituted 38 of them


  13. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 3:19 pm:

    love all these raid photos. together they get kinda Zapruder like.


  14. - Ron - In Texas - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    @DuPage
    “The FBI car has to Illinois plates? I thought they would have a federal plate. Do they buy them or get them free?”

    depends! there are gov plates, but fed LEs can run local plates on vehicles also.


  15. - theCardinal - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 3:35 pm:

    Might be seized vehicle w untraceable plates


  16. - Anon E Moose - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 3:53 pm:

    Another undeserving elected official who got her position because her husband was an Alderman who died in office. As though being married to a politician is qualifying experience. Bye!


  17. - Just Me - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 4:00 pm:

    Greenpeace - you’ve raised an issue that I have mentioned on this blog before and been ridiculed for suggesting. Legislators love to file bills for all sorts of reasons. Anytime there is a big news story legislators file bills. Yet, when it comes to City Council corruption, they are strangely silent.


  18. - Southside Markie - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 4:03 pm:

    The news media was there on 111th Street in advance to cover it? Guilty or not, the US Attorney’s attempt to create negative pre-trial publicity isn’t right.


  19. - Keyrock - Wednesday, Jun 19, 19 @ 7:57 pm:

    It looks like the feds were there for hours. What makes you think that reporters were tipped off?


  20. - Just Me - Thursday, Jun 20, 19 @ 9:05 am:

    Southside - yes, let’s all get together and feel sorry for the corrupt politicians. You should create a fund to help pay for their legal costs.

    Oh wait….


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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