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*** UPDATED x5 *** Jury reaches verdict in Ed Burke corruption case

Thursday, Dec 21, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We’ll know more soonish…

Follow along live by clicking here.

Burke and prosecutors are now in the courtroom.

Some background on the trial is here.

*** UPDATE 1 *** One down…

He was convicted on all charges.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Burke convicted of racketeering. More in a bit.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Andrews not guilty on all charges.

*** UPDATE 4 *** Whew…

*** UPDATE 5 *** More…


* The Sun-Times story is here and the Tribune story is here. Both will be updated. The WTTW story is here.

Seidel is reporting that Burke’s sentencing hearing will be June 19.


…Adding…
Lori Lightfoot…

Following is a statement from former Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot on today’s guilty verdict in the federal corruption trial of former Ald. Ed Burke:

“With this jury’s verdict, Ed Burke should rightfully be remembered as a man who elevated personal ambition and greed over doing the people’s work.

“Along the way, Burke has had many, many enablers: the pernicious practice of aldermanic prerogative which, despite efforts to eliminate it, persists to this day, especially in zoning and development decisions. The other elected officials who, over the years, looked the other way as Burke systematically monetized the Finance Committee for his own personal benefit. And the party who gave Burke control over judicial nominations, so that decades of jurists became beholden to him.

“But like many before who feasted on their gluttonous power, Burke was felled because this total lack of accountability made him foolishly think he was invincible. So he grossly overplayed his hand. He dug his own grave and jumped in.

“Only time will tell if the lessons of Ed Burke’s ascent and spectacular fall will lead to desperately needed reforms begun, but not nearly finished, around transparency and accountability. But meanwhile, with this verdict, rendered by a jury of his peers, the tyranny of Ed Burke is over. I like to think somewhere, Harold is smiling.”

* Leader McCombie…

House Republican Leader Tony McCombie released the following statement after former Alderman Ed Burke, the longest-serving Chicago City Council member, was convicted on numerous criminal charges, including racketeering and extortion:

“Illinois has weak ethics laws and House Republicans have been pushing for significant reforms for years. Democrats’ complacency with the status quo continues to cheat and take advantage of Illinois families by the very government who says it is there to protect them. House Republicans have filed common sense proposals and are more than willing to have bipartisan discussions to close loopholes and enhance penalties for those who violate the public’s trust.”

* BGA…

Former Chicago alderperson Ed Burke was today found guilty by a jury on 13 out of 14 charges, including racketeering, conspiracy, extortion and bribery. Co-defendant Charles Cui was also found guilty of bribery, while Burke’s longtime aide Peter Andrews was acquitted.

In response to the verdict, Better Government Association President David Greising stated, “The jury’s verdict is a clear warning to elected officials: Illinois residents will not put up with government corruption, and we are willing to stand up and hold public officials accountable. While Burke’s corruption is another sad chapter in Chicago’s history, the jury’s action also is a step forward and an affirmative statement that the bad old days are coming to an end.”

* Mayor Johnson…

Elected officials are responsible for serving with honesty and integrity, with a moral responsibility to their constituents to uphold and abide by the law. In the case that they fail to do so, it is imperative that they are held accountable. That is what the jury decided today.

* US Rep. García…

Congressman Chuy García released the following statement regarding the conviction of former Alderman Ed Burke.

“Today, a long history of corrupt Chicago politics righted itself. A man who abused his position of trust for over 50 years, who manipulated the public for his personal gain, was rightfully reproached,” said García.

“The trial of former Alderman Ed Burke and conviction on corruption and racketeering charges highlighted the culture of impunity that allowed him to govern for more than half a century. I strongly condemn his gross abuse of power and emphasize the need to dismantle systems that perpetuate unequal representation.”

“Throughout my career, I have been committed to creating an environment that rejects such politics and strives for genuine representation. For 40 years, I battled against his politics. I am certain that we will achieve a government that reflects our communities’ diversity and values, ensuring that individuals, like former Alderman Burke and others trying to carry his legacy, who use their power to gain greater status and personal enrichment have no position of influence in our communities.”

* ILGOP…

“Alderman Burke’s conviction is just the latest example of prominent Illinois Democrat corruption at the highest levels of government,” ILGOP Chairman Don Tracy said. “Years of machine electioneering, pay to play politics, insider dealings, and catering to special interests have driven working families out of Chicago and Illinois, increased the tax burden and regulations on those of us who have stayed to fight for a better state, and hugely benefited the powerful few. As the latest prominent Illinois Democrat to be convicted of official corruption, Alderman Burke will finally be held accountable much like Democrats Senator Sandoval, Senator Link, Governor Blagojevich, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr, and the 38 other Chicago Aldermen convicted in the last 50 years as we await Speaker Madigan’s corruption trial.”

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