Feds Raid Chicago Ald. Ed Burke's Offices

Craig Dellimore
November 29, 2018 - 3:12 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Federal agents raided two city offices of powerful 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke on Thursday, but the veteran Chicago City Council member said he's not worried.

The feds arrived early in the morning, ordered staff members to leave and covered the glass doors and windows of Burke’s City Hall office so that outsiders could not see what was happening.

Ed Burke is the longest-serving alderman in Chicago history — almost 50 years in office —and he’s involved in so many things, from party politics and property tax appeals to worker’s compensation, that it’s anyone’s guess what might have triggered the raid.

Burke later issued a statement saying he has faced other investigations in the past, has cooperated and nothing came of them. He expects the same to be true this time.

Still, the raid comes as Burke is in the midst of a tougher-than-usual re-election bid in the predominately Latino ward, and just days before his annual political fundraiser Tuesday evening. The alderman could be damaged.

As chairman of the all-important City Council Finance committee, Burke is the most powerful alderman. He was first elected to the council in 1969, so he is its dean and unofficial historian.

At an unrelated event in Springfield, outgoing Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said the federal activity was long overdue.

"There are elected officials in our General Assembly and in the City Council of Chicago who are part of a very broken, very self-dealing system."