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Burke sentenced to two years (Updated x3)

Monday, Jun 24, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* More in a bit…


He was also fined $2 million and will serve a year of supervised release.

…Adding… That sentence seems at odds with what the judge said at the beginning of today’s proceedings and toward the end…


The sentencing guidelines called for a maximum of 8 years behind bars.

* But…


…Adding… The BGA points out that the sentence is less than half of what the defense had requested…

Former Chicago alderperson Ed Burke today was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $2 million for his conviction on 13 charges, including racketeering, conspiracy, extortion and bribery. The sentence is a relatively light one, sparing Burke the lengthy prison stay of up to 12 ½ years requested by federal prosecutors.

Federal sentencing guidelines, which are not mandatory, called for between 78 and 97 months, based on the financial cost of his crimes, according to presiding judge Virginia Kendall. The defense had requested between four and five years in prison.

In response to the sentencing, Better Government Association President David Greising stated, “Today’s light sentence calls into question the principle of equality before the law. Despite Ed Burke’s betrayal of public trust, the powerful and connected of Chicago lined up to plead for leniency. Judge Kendall herself said she was influenced by this. But to those who believe in accountable government, it was a disappointing spectacle, putting personal allegiance ahead of the public interest, and should have had little weight on imposing a just sentence. ”

Numerous high-profile political figures wrote letters to the court requesting a lenient sentence, including former and current alderpersons. “Ed Burke was convicted for gross abuses of public trust while serving as one of Chicago’s most powerful alderpeople,” said Greising. “The sentence indicates the vestiges of that power persist.”

The Better Government Association’s policy team has advocated for banning lobbyist contributions to city elections and an end to the use of so-called “aldermanic prerogative” to block zoning changes in an alderperson’s ward. The organization also supports a long-stalled ethics ordinance update that the mayor’s administration has refused to support.

Greising called on City Council to make a statement by quickly approving reforms as a signal of their intent to clean up city government. “City Council has an opportunity to show that abuses of power like Ed Burke’s will no longer be tolerated in their body,” said Greising. “With or without the mayor’s support, the council should move forward on ethics reform.”

…Adding… Burke could use his campaign funds to pay off the fine…


       

59 Comments
  1. - So_Ill - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:33 pm:

    Interesting. A lighter sentence than Mapes.


  2. - batman - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:34 pm:

    why does he always dress like a villain in a cartoon?

    Should be a harsher sentence just based on crimes against fashion


  3. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:34 pm:

    Gross. Judge Kendall was bamboozled by pomposity.


  4. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:35 pm:

    What a joke. He should have pled to that 4 years ago and saved money. I bet he fights for his pension and dies before they take it


  5. - DougChicago - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:38 pm:

    That crook will be out in no time and back to his old ways

    What a disgrace.


  6. - Charles Edward Cheese - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:39 pm:

    The sentence is out of step with the heavy handed warning the judge gave at the start. I guess you can lie, cheat, steal, grift, and act as corrupt as you want as long as you stop by a funeral or two later.


  7. - Downstate - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:40 pm:

    54 years in office and only 24 months in jail?

    A sentence like that won’t strike fear in other miscreants. If anything, it will embolden them.


  8. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:41 pm:

    =sentenced to 2 years in federal prison=

    Glad to see him serve time. Burke received a fair amount of time - no special treatment. It also was a signal that reinforces the ideas of John R. Lausch Jr that the Fed’s will not be intimidated by local and statewide powerbrokers, they will also be brought to justice


  9. - Mixed Metaphors, FTW - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:41 pm:

    “Gross. Judge Kendall was bamboozled by pomposity.”

    Eh. She saw it for what it was. The G took a low hanging fruit and unleashed it on old men who should have seen their way to the exit a generation ago.


  10. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:43 pm:

    PS I wonder what the judges reputation was as a sentencing judge?
    Was she lenient for every other white collar crook?


  11. - I hate Scott Turow - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:50 pm:

    The judge unimpressed with the fact Danny Solis isn’t being imprisoned too.


  12. - low level - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:53 pm:

    2 years might not seem like much but it will be an incredible knock down for a man used to the lavish lifestyle he lead for a lifetime. He will go from Maggiano’s every day to prison food. Instead of a large office and bodyguards, he will sleep in a cell and be watched by guards, all at the age of 80+.


  13. - lake county democrat - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:53 pm:

    George W. Bush appointee.


  14. - DougChicago - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:55 pm:

    What a joke.

    To start with he does no more than 85% of that.

    Then as soon as he checks in, he may say say oh i had an alcohol problem and then take the program for the cure, which will shave off another several months.

    He will be out in no time. And recall in this upside down world of a state, he had bought off so many members of the Supreme Court they couldn’t even convene a quorum of disinterested justices to disbar him. Sure, he resigned, but he can reapply on his own at any time.

    I am reluctant to ever agree with Dan Prof(i)t, but he has it right: Illinois isn’t broken, it’s fixed.


  15. - Rudy’s teeth - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:57 pm:

    Eddie Burke should get an extra year tacked onto his sentence just for wearing a fedora.


  16. - Helm - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:57 pm:

    This was a victory for the defense. Defense team came in ready to rumble today. Challenging sentencing guide lines and expert testimony. It gave the judge the cover she needed to go light. Feds seemed unprepared to counter it.

    Judge’s swipe at Solis was interesting. Expect to see that again in the MJM trial in October if we get that far pending ruling on US Supreme Court Snyder case set for later this week.

    Does truth in sentencing apply to this type of sentence ? If so, he is out in roughly 20 months. Laying off the booze and Gibson’s steaks for that long may actually improve his health.

    Awaiting Sneedlings…..


  17. - Responsa - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:58 pm:

    So he went to a lot of funerals and that helped to mitigate the expected level of punishment for his crimes over a political lifetime. Good to know.


  18. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:58 pm:

    Any “Ed Burke is a victim” argument is not even worth a response. The Solis stuff is just fancy whataboutism. What to talk about democracy? Try being a middle class person, committing the same crimes, then arguing “no, I’m actually a great guy.” Like I said, bamboozled.


  19. - Steve - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 3:59 pm:

    Ed Burke sure got lucky. That’s quite a light sentence for someone convicted of 13 felonies which includes racketeering. I wonder how much politicians will be deterred from crime on the job with sentences like this?


  20. - Glengarry - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:09 pm:

    Burke gets off lucky.


  21. - Bogey Golfer - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:11 pm:

    Considering his age, the sentence was predictable. Anyone know his health?


  22. - Hannibal Lecter - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:12 pm:

    === Federal sentencing guidelines, which are not mandatory, called for between 78 and 97 months, based on the financial cost of his crimes, according to presiding judge Virginia Kendall. The defense had requested between four and five years in prison. ===

    It sounds like the defense did a good job of showing that the financial impact of Burke’s crimes, as told by the USAO, was a gross exaggeration.


  23. - Joe Schmoe - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:13 pm:

    Madigan can only hope he gets off this easy.


  24. - Joe Schmoe - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:14 pm:

    …if he even gets convicted.


  25. - Hisgirlfriday - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:20 pm:

    Few things in our justice system gross me out more than the way judges reduce sentences for crimes based on whether the defendant is rich, famous, or powerful enough to orchestrate a bunch of fan letters on their behalf at sentencing.


  26. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:31 pm:

    This sentencing is disgusting. First, Burke will use campaign funds to pay the fine. Second, a measly two years for decades of corruption tells other politicians this isn’t that big of a deal.

    Where were the letters from the victims: his constituents? Prosecutors should start asking members of the public to provide letters too.

    I hope Burke serves his sentence at the same location as Arroyo and Mapes.


  27. - Steve - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:33 pm:

    -the way judges reduce sentences for crimes based on whether the defendant is rich, famous, or powerful enough to orchestrate a bunch of fan letters on their behalf at sentencing.-

    Very true statement .


  28. - Rudy’s teeth - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:39 pm:

    After 80 years, Ed Burke knew how to
    play the game. All the funerals he attended, condolence notes he wrote, supposed good deeds he performed were simply deposits in the Bank of Ed Burke.

    A cover for his eventual date at the Dirksen Federal Building, Burke schemed in any way possible to diminish his eventual prison sentence.


  29. - Hannibal Lecter - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:39 pm:

    === Second, a measly two years for decades of corruption tells other politicians this isn’t that big of a deal. ===

    People need to stop having such a knee-jerk reaction to this sentencing.

    First, Burke was not being sentenced on “decades of corruption”, He was being sentenced for the specific crimes that he was convicted of. None of these crimes spanned decades.

    Also, the sentence is based on the federal sentencing guidelines, which are in turn based on the financial costs associated with the crimes. The defense did a better job at showing that the costs of his crimes was overinflated and brought in expert witnesses to prove their point. The judge agreed and credited the expert testimony with a reduced cost of the financial crimes.

    I am not saying that Burke isn’t guilty or that his sentence is correct. I am just saying we shouldn’t be jumping to conclusions based on what we think should have happened when the judge is to consider only certain facts, not facts that are not relevant to the sentencing hearing.


  30. - Red Ranger - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:39 pm:

    Basically a year and a half. Plus Im sure all of his campaign funds paid for lawyers etc. Seems like almost the cost of doing business for Mr Chairman.


  31. - batman - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:50 pm:

    @ Anonymous 4:40

    No chance Biden pardons him. Absolute zero.

    But. If you’re so sure about it I suggest you and I do a wager. $1000 to the charity of winner’s choice?


  32. - Lincoln Lad - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 4:51 pm:

    Disappointing for sure. I guess using your office and power for personal, illegitimate gain isn’t much of a crime in this judge’s view.


  33. - Huh? - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 5:03 pm:

    It will be mentioned in the first paragraph of his obituary, convicted felon sentenced to federal prison for corruption.

    That is the scarlet letter of shame that will follow him into history.

    Never mind the prison sentence. The loss of stature, respect, and influence are more damaging than a prison term at club fed.


  34. - T - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 5:06 pm:

    Glad he got time as it was well deserved

    Madigan cant be thinking he wont serve time after this but based on sentencing he may have a bit of hope


  35. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 5:06 pm:

    The “short” sentence was caused by John R. Lausch’s decision Solis would not get any prison time. Isn’t he also going to be able to keep his pension?


  36. - Big Dipper - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 5:07 pm:

    For someone who cares so much about history, it must irk Eddie a great deal that his legacy will be a disgrace.


  37. - Big Dipper - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 5:13 pm:

    ==the judge is to consider only certain facts, not facts that are not relevant to the sentencing hearing==

    Yet Burke conceded that the facts warranted a much longer sentence than Kendall imposed. Should a judge be giving a defendant a lighter sentence than he asks for?


  38. - low level - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 5:18 pm:

    ==For someone who cares so much about history, it must irk Eddie a great deal that his legacy will be a disgrace.==

    Exactly. This is the same man who envisioned himself as a reincarnation of Cicero, going on and on about some historical point. The man who had a line direct to the mayor’s office will now seek to see the warden at a federal prison.


  39. - Hannibal Lecter - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 5:23 pm:

    === Yet Burke conceded that the facts warranted a much longer sentence than Kendall imposed. Should a judge be giving a defendant a lighter sentence than he asks for? ===

    I think the estimated cost of the crimes were a big part of it, and the USAO didn’t do a good job at establishing their estiimated costs. This component affects the sentencing guidelines. I think the defense’s ask was based on the guidelines calculation presented by the government prior to today’s hearing.


  40. - batman - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 5:59 pm:

    I can’t wait to see a photo of Burke in his jail-issued orange jumpsuit and orange fedora


  41. - clec dcn - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 6:37 pm:

    He is 80 years old and not dangerous what is the best sentence that helps the taxpayers? In prison or home confinement or something else. I don’t know but pure retribution is too late.


  42. - Friendly Bob Adams - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 6:41 pm:

    I’m pleased that Burke got real jail time. How much time he serves is not that important. It’s just knowing that he has to listen to the door slam behind him.


  43. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 6:59 pm:

    - He is 80 years old and not dangerous what is the best sentence that helps the taxpayers? -

    I mostly agree though I despise Burke and do feel that he’s getting off fairly easy. I think an additional period of home confinement and a stiffer financial penalty could have been in order.


  44. - Amalia - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 7:01 pm:

    the judge totally bought the nonsense Sklarsky was spewing.I’m surprised it did not include a story of a miracle that happened due to Burke actions and a claim for sainthood. but the Solis bit does make it make some sense. why does he get off with a simple admission?


  45. - Bigtwich - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 7:02 pm:

    “I am reluctant to ever agree with Dan Prof(i)t, but he has it right: Illinois isn’t broken, it’s fixed.”

    Well, this was Federal court with a Judge appointed by George Busch.


  46. - @misterjayem - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 7:09 pm:

    The theory that “punishment should be harsh enough to deter future offenders” apparently only applies to the young and the poor.

    – MrJM


  47. - Time - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 7:15 pm:

    Someone Burke knows, knows the judge. Would put money on it


  48. - Steve - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 7:20 pm:

    The judge seemed to be swayed by the glowing letters from Eddie’s man powerful fans. What the judge didn’t seem to take into account is the other legacy of Ed Burke which she had to be aware of. Alderman Burke was supposed to be indicted decades ago.
    https://tinyurl.com/3jh73ycf


  49. - Todd - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 7:22 pm:

    he was convicted for the crimes _they_ cuaght him at. my bet is he got away with a lot more over those 50 years.

    and Blago got what for effing golden. . .

    I guess crime does pay


  50. - Big Dipper - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 8:28 pm:

    Never understood why an honest person would want to dress like an extra in Bugsy Malone or a server at Tommy Gun’s Garage.


  51. - Dotnonymous x - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 8:37 pm:

    That’s 54 days off for each year…extra time off for “Addiction” treatment up to a year…He’ll do a year maybe…probably transfer to a cushy medical facility…wish I’d had this Judge for my pot trafficking case.


  52. - Dotnonymous x - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 8:44 pm:

    Doing time in a federal camp at age 80?…Relaxing…no phone calls…no duties…no job…no problems…easy peasy.


  53. - Dotnonymous x - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 8:46 pm:

    Don’t they help themselves…You and me woulda got ten years for the same crimes.


  54. - Dotnonymous x - Monday, Jun 24, 24 @ 8:49 pm:

    “We’re crime, Kid…and crime don’t pay.”


  55. - DougChicago - Tuesday, Jun 25, 24 @ 7:30 am:

    Well, this was Federal court with a Judge appointed by George Busch.


  56. - DougChicago - Tuesday, Jun 25, 24 @ 7:31 am:

    ==Well, this was Federal court with a Judge appointed by George Busch.==

    Yes, it’s a bipartisan combine.

    Feel better?


  57. - Nope. - Tuesday, Jun 25, 24 @ 8:00 am:

    = Never mind the prison sentence. The loss of stature, respect, and influence are more damaging than a prison term at club fed.=

    I know. My wealthy friends think the same thing when they’re sentenced.


  58. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, Jun 25, 24 @ 10:24 am:

    Judge, in regards to Solis getting zero prison time,

    remember Sammy the Bull Gravano?


  59. - Dotnonymous x - Tuesday, Jun 25, 24 @ 6:15 pm:

    I’m always somewhat amused by citizens in the free world describing conditions inside prisons…where they have never served time.

    Burke will play poker or bridge, or engage in other pastimes of his choice …probably a job in the Chapel…the lack of stress may add years to his life?

    Doing time in a Fed camp is still doing time…but it’s not hard time…Burke will have no problem finding a scheme to ride.

    No overtly violent prisoners allowed in FPC’s…safer than the streets of Chicago…no doubt.

    By the way…Burke is shameless…by nature.


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