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Ruby🇺🇸♥️ @Patriotess_Ruby
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Fed agents swarmed Ald. Ed Burke’s City Hall & ward offices Thursday morning, kicking out employees & hours later hauling boxes of records & computers from rooms that 4 decades have been at the center of Chicago’s longest-standing political power structure chicagotribune.com/news/local/pol…
In his 50 years in politics, the Southwest Side Alderman has been under federal scrutiny several times before, but never convicted or indicted.
As FBI agents rummaged through his offices, the alderman attended a luncheon at the Chicago Yacht Club celebrating his wife, Anne Burke, who on Thursday was sworn into her second 10-year term on the Illinois Supreme Court.
The U.S. attorney’s office offered no details on the focus of its investigation.

Word of Burke’s federal heat spread like wildfire through City Hall after federal agents arrived at his third-floor office, telling employees to leave and taping brown paper over its glass doors.
A scrum of reporters waited outside, some of them doing live telecasts for the noon news. By 2 p.m., the investigators had walked boxes and computers down a back staircase and out of City Hall, out of the view of the assembled media contingent, according to city sources.
A similar scene unfolded in Gage Park on the Southwest Side, where FBI agents descended upon the offices of Burke’s 14th Ward Regular Democratic Organization on 51st Street.
This isn’t the first time Burke has come under investigation, as federal authorities have peppered his office with subpoenas before. The difference this time was the all-out FBI raid.

Burke has shown a penchant for avoiding charges while others at City Hall have been taken down.
Burke’s undisputed authority flows from his decadeslong grip as chairman of the City Council Finance Committee. In addition to having great influence over the city’s fiscal matters, committee oversees city’s $100 million-a-year workers’ comp program that covers disability claims.
Both, U.S. attorney’s office and City Hall inspector general have had an interest in how Burke handles workers’ compensation. Burke & his allies have fought those efforts, making handling of workers’ compensation 1 of the most opaque multimillion-dollar operations at City Hall.
In 2012, Inspector General Joseph Ferguson sought access to records related to the workers’ compensation program to review it for waste and inefficiency. Burke denied Ferguson access to those records, contending they fell outside the watchdog’s jurisdiction.
Federal authorities also sought records from Burke’s Finance Committee in 1995 as part of Operation Haunted Hall. That probe centered on ghost payrolling — government no-show jobs — and saw a former city clerk and daughter of an alderman convicted.
Burke’s family has controlled the 14th Ward since 1965. As a young police officer, Burke won election as Democratic committeeman for the ward in July 1968 after his father, Ald. Joseph P. Burke. The following year, Burke won election as alderman and has held the post ever since.
Burke also drew ethics scrutiny for helping a retired lawmaker receive a pension windfall by giving him a short-term job a decade ago.

Former Democratic state Rep. Robert Molaro worked a month, wrote a 19-page report and collected $12,000.
As a result, Molaro was eligible to raise his state pension from about $64,000 a year based on his roughly $75,000 salary as a lawmaker to more than $120,000 a year based on the $144,000 figure, according to a Tribune/WGN investigation.
At the end of September, the alderman had more than $12 million in three campaign funds he controls — an astronomical amount for an alderman. Since then, Burke has raised an additional $364,000, records show.
“Wasn’t it Lord Acton who said, ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely?’ ” Burke asked rhetorically. “There is corruption everywhere. Human nature is what it is. We are all prone to make mistakes.”

~The End~
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