Ald. Burke chairs first committee meeting since FBI raids

CHICAGO -- Ald. Ed Burke,14th Ward, stoically entered the City Council chambers Monday morning to chair the finance committee.

It appeared to be business as usual, and there was no mention of the federal raids of Burke’s ward offices two weeks ago.

Burke entered the chambers with a quick "Good Morning" to reporters, then brushed past and took his seat, as he has for decades at the head of the finance committee meeting.

While aldermen and witnesses wanted to talk TIFs and property taxes, Burke made no mention and didn’t even allude to the Nov. 29 raid  when more than a dozen agents showed up at his office in City Hall, telling staff to leave and putting brown paper across its glass doors - blocking the view while agents completed their work.

Another team of agents showed up at Burke's office in the 14th Ward and papered over the windows there as well.  The US  Attorney’s office said the FBI was "executing search warrants at multiple locations" in Chicago.  No charges were filed against the city’s longest serving Alderman.

However speculation is running rampant with Former City Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans tweeting about Burke over the weekend “the signs of his conflict were an open secret,” and that “Burke put pressure on city staff regarding contracts and payments on a regular basis.”

Burke's only comment was a statement saying he is cooperating with the investigation as he has other probes in the past that didn't result in any charges.

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