Pressure Builds To Take Power Away From Ald. Burke

Craig Dellimore
January 03, 2019 - 3:29 pm
Chicago City Hall

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Whether he chooses to continue running for re-election while he fights federal corruption charges, Ald. Ed Burke is likely to lose some of the power he has wielded on the Chicago City Council.

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports from City Hall.

It’s pretty clear the federal criminal complaint against Burke means his days as chairman of the influential Finance Committee are numbered – maybe in the single digits.

It’s also apparent that Mayor Emanuel is uncomfortable having Burke remain as head of the committee, which deals with revenue, taxes and other sensitive economic issues.

Burke, 75, is the longest-serving Chicago alderman, with more than 50 years in the council chambers. It’s baffling some in city government – and out – that he can be accused of engaging in something as blunt as a standard shakedown.

The feds say he used his powers to pressure a fast-food restaurant company to use his law firm.

At least one City Hall insider notes Burke has withstood investigations before and he may have thought he was too smart for something like this.

Burke, who has denied any wrongdoing, appeared in court Thursday and was released on $10,000 bond.