Longest-serving Chicago City Council member gets 2 years in prison for corruption

Jun 24, 2024, 2:48 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Ed Burke, the longest-serving City Council member in Chicago history, was sentenced to two years in prison Monday for squeezing developers who needed his help for permits.

It was far short of the eight-year term recommended by federal prosecutors. With credit for good behavior, Burke will likely spend less than two years in custody.

Burke, 80, was an alderman for 54 years until he left office a year ago and a giant in local Democratic politics. As the longtime chairman of the Finance Committee, he had unrivaled authority at the council over certain city affairs.

Prosecutors said he used that power illegally by strong-arming developers to use his law firm for property tax business while they sought his blessing on projects. Burke was convicted of racketeering, bribery and attempted extortion.

Burke “abused his power and exploited his office for private gain, again and again and again and again and again, over a period of years,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Streicker said in court.

When it was his time to speak, Burke expressed regret for the “pain and the sorrow that I have caused my family and my dear friends.” He had denied wrongdoing when charged in 2019.

Burke’s lawyers argued that his five decades in public life outweighed a long punishment. U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall was inundated with letters supporting him, including one from former Chicago federal prosecutor Dan Webb.

“I have never in all my career seen the letters I have received for Mr. Burke,” Kendall said.

Indeed, defense attorney Chuck Sklarsky called Burke a “priest without a collar.”

“Ed has used his political power for good, for the city and for all the people who live here,” Sklarsky said.

Besides the prison term, Burke was ordered to pay $2 million.

He was first elected to the City Council in 1969. Burke’s wife, Anne, is a former Illinois Supreme Court justice.

United States News

Associated Press

2024 Election Latest: Biden campaign faces crucial moment, Republicans laud Trump’s RNC performance

President Joe Biden is facing the stark reality that many Democrats at the highest levels want him to consider how stepping aside from the 2024 election to make way for a new nominee atop the ticket could be the party’s best chance of preventing widespread losses in November. It’s a pivotal few days for the […]

40 minutes ago

A supporter cheers during the Republican National Convention Thursday, July 18, 2024, in Milwaukee....

Associated Press

Republicans emerge from their convention thrilled with Trump and talking about a blowout victory

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The last time Republicans gathered for a full convention, they were plagued by internal division and fear. Morale was near rock bottom. And the party’s presidential nominee showed little desire, or capacity, to add new voters to his political coalition. What a difference eight years make. The Republican officials, strategists and activists […]

1 hour ago

Travelers wait in Terminal 1 for check-in at Hamburg Airport, in Hamburg, Germany, Friday July 19, ...

Associated Press

Internet outage latest | Airlines, businesses hit by global technology disruption

An internet outage affecting Microsoft is disrupting flights, banks, media outlets and companies across the world, with problems continuing hours after the technology company said it was gradually fixing an issue affecting access to Microsoft 365 apps and services. Airlines in the United States, Europe, Australia and India were reporting problems, with some flights grounded. […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares sink, weighed down by Wall St tech retreat, China policy questions

Asian shares retreated Friday after a broad washout across Wall Street dragged U.S. stocks lower, and Hong Kong’s benchmark dipped more than 2% as investors remained wary over China’s plans for helping its ailing property sector. U.S. futures rose while oil prices declined. Chinese officials briefed reporters in Beijing on the outcome of a top-level […]

5 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaking during the Republican Nati...

Associated Press

FACT FOCUS: A look at claims made at the Republican National Convention as Trump accepts nomination

As former President Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday he laid out his vision for running the country. He painted a dire picture of the state of the U.S. and outlined a range of actions he planned to take. But his comments were marked with a myriad of false and misleading information […]

6 hours ago

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge walks to first base during the fifth inning of a baseball game agains...

Associated Press

Judge and Ohtani are the MVP favorites, but there’s plenty of time left in baseball’s award races

Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani are the front-runners for baseball’s MVP awards, according to the oddsmakers. It’s only the All-Star break, but one or two clear favorites have emerged for several of the game’s top honors. With play set to resume again Friday, here’s a look at what the betting lines have to say, courtesy […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Longest-serving Chicago City Council member gets 2 years in prison for corruption