Ald. Burke's daughter gets $117,000 state job

July 28, 2011 2:51:12 PM PDT
''I don't think that either I or my wife's position should be held against our daughter,'' Chicago Alderman Ed Burke said when asked about Governor Pat Quinn's decision to appoint his daughter, Jennifer, to a high-paying state job.

Insulted at the suggestion a campaign loan and contributions to the governor influenced the appointment, Ald. Burk said, "I believe that my daughter is a very accomplished lawyer. Her mother and I are very proud of what she has done."

Ald. Burke is the city's longest-serving and reputedly most powerful alderman. On Thursday, his daughter, Jennifer, was appointed to a $117,000 year job on the Illinois Pollution Control Board.

"She applied for a position and apparently the governor saw fit to appoint her," Ald. Burke said.

During the most recent city election, Alderman Burke's campaign loaned Quinn's campaign $200,000 and donated $52,000 more. The governor was also sworn in by Ald. Burke's wife, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke.

The governor denied money or political clout played a role in Jennifer Burke's appointment.

"Absolutely not. I mean, if you look at her qualifications, she is very, very well qualified. She is an environmental lawyer and this is a sensitive spot," Gov. Quinn said.

Jennifer Burke, 31, is an attorney. She was hired by the City of Chicago Law Department in 2006 under Mara Georges, who was Mayor Richard M. Daley's corporation counsel. Jennifer's title was assistant supervisor and she made just under $100,000 a year.

Most of Chicago's City Council told ABC 7 they did not know Jennifer had a city job.

Burke, who is chairman of the City Council's Finance Committee, recently came under fire for his 24/7 security detail, which was reportedly reduced from four to six at a time to just two bodyguards by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Load Comments