Chicago Mayor Lightfoot demands that once-powerful Alderman resign

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has demanded that once powerful Alderman Edward Burke resign after he was named in a 59-page federal indictment that alleges he tried to steer work to his law firm for the redevelopment of the Old Main Post Office and a Burger King restaurant on the city’s Southwest side.
Burke was a leader of a group of white aldermen who thwarted attempts by Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor, to govern during what was called “Council Wars.”
In demanding Burke’s resignation, Mayor Lightfoot said the charges in a superseding indictment were alarming.
“The indictment alleges that Ald. Burke used his position and the tools of government to facilitate a criminal enterprise to enrich himself and cheat the residents of this city,” Mayor Lightfoot added in a statement.
Burke, who has been an alderman 50 years, once headed the city’s powerful finance committee.
After her election, Mayor Lightfoot stripped him of that committee post.
Alderman Edward Burke is on thin ice
The federal indictment, handed down on Thursday,  charged Burke with one count of racketeering, two counts of federal program bribery, two counts of conspiracy to commit extortion and eight counts of using interstate commerce to facilitate unlawful activity.
In a statement, the 75-year-old Burke said the charges were unfounded and that he will be vindicated.
On Tuesday, he pled not guilty to the charges.

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