[Photo Credit: By Massimo Catarinella - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3635921]

Influential Democrat in Chicago Found Guilty of Corruption and Racketeering Charges

On Thursday, Edward Burke, a former member of the Chicago City Council and one of the most influential individuals in the city, has now been convicted of racketeering, bribery, and attempted extortion.

Thirteen of the fourteen corruption charges levied against Burke in a federal corruption trial were found to be true. Prosecutors accused Burke of exploiting his governmental status to coerce private developers into engaging the services of his law firm.

The 79-year-old Democrat had been a council member of the Windy City since 1969, making him the longest-serving member until earlier this year.

Burke was convicted after nearly twenty-four hours of jury deliberation on charges including racketeering (originally intended for organized crime members), extortion attempt, corrupt solicitation, and use of an interstate facility to promote unlawful activity; and accepting, demanding, or agreeing to accept items of value.

Burke was absolved by the jury on a single count of conspiracy.

The strategies of corruption were executed from 2016 to 2018.

Burke and his wife, former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Burke, exited the courthouse following the verdict without delivering a statement to the media.

The date of Burke’s sentencing is June 19.

He could potentially spend decades behind bars. The maximum sentence for the counts of conspiracy and extortion is twenty years, whereas the maximum sentence for the counts of corruptly soliciting and bribery is ten years.

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