Corruption in the world of politics is nothing new, though some may claim it’s gotten worse in recent years. Two of the biggest names in politics – Donald Trump and Hunter Biden – have serious and ongoing legal issues, for example.
However, many of the legal scrapes are only ethics violations complaints, tax snafus, or perhaps moderate bribery and fraud accusations. They usually don’t run run into the area of organized crime-esque activity.
That’s exactly what Edward Burke’s rap sheet looks like, though. And now the former Chicago City Councilman is going up the river after being found guilty of multiple significant charges including racketeering and extortion.
From The Daily Wire: Edward Burke, a former Chicago City Council member who was considered one of the city’s most powerful people, was found guilty on Thursday of racketeering, bribery, and attempted extortion.
Burke was convicted on 13 of the 14 corruption charges against him in a federal corruption trial in which prosecutors accused him of leveraging his government position to pressure private developers into hiring his law firm.
It’s also notable that Burke had been the longest-serving council member in Chicago, as he’d been in that position since 1969.
But the jury decided to nail him on 13 charges and perhaps the most eye-opening one was racketeering, which is typically only associated with organized crime. These corruption schemes occurred recently, too; between 2016 and 2018.
Basically,it sounds like Burke was involved in “shaking down” owners of a Burger King franchise in his old ward: prosecutors said Burke halted the restaurant’s building and property permits, and tried to force the owners to hire his own law firm for tax business.
On top of that, the Democrat was accused of “turning up the heat on the others,” which includes a developer toiling away on a massive $600 million renovation of the city’s Old Post Office. Witnesses like former alderman Danny Solis, who wore a wire for the FBI for 2 years to help trap Burke, sealed the deal in court.
Acting U.S. Attorney for Chicago Morris Pasqual had this to say in response to the verdict:
This case was about bribery and extortion occurring at the highest levels of Chicago city government.
The public voted Mr. Burke into office, and they trusted that he would be guided by and motivated by pursuing the common good. He betrayed that trust.
Burke will learn his sentence on June 19 and he could hear some big numbers: each of the racketeering and extortion counts carry up to 20 years, while the corruptly soliciting and bribery charges are punishable by up to 10 years.
When people say they simply don’t trust politicians (which humanity has heard since the day of ancient Rome), it’s stories like these that are the reason why. And undoubtedly Republicans will note that Burke was a Democrat, which reflects poorly on the Party.
Source: The Daily Wire