City leaders react after former Chicago Alderman Ed Burke found guilty in federal corruption case

ByJessica D'Onofrio, Sarah Schulte, and Tom Jones WLS logo
Saturday, December 23, 2023
City leaders react to Ed Burke guilty verdict
More city leaders and politicians reacted to the guilty verdict Former Chicago Alderman Ed Burke on Friday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Former Chicago Alderman Ed Burke woke up a convicted felon Friday morning as the verdict garnered more reactions from city leaders.

Burke was found guilty Thursday on multiple counts in his federal corruption case, which included racketeering and bribery charges.

Ald. Maria Hadden of the 49th Ward said she feels like justice was served.

"There are a lot of city council members who've come in over the last few terms who want to be ethical, who want good government, who are Chicagoans ourselves who are really tired of elected officials taking advantage," Hadden said.

Burke's trial centering around him using his public position for private gain.

"This case was about bribery and extortion occurring at the highest levels of Chicago city government," said US Attorney Morris Pasqual.

Burke will turn 80 years old in about a week, and he faces a maximum of 20 years behind bars.

BGA weighs in on Ed Burke guilty verdict

David Greising with the Better Government Association weighs in on former Chicago Alderman Ed Burke being convicted in his federal corruption trial.

While judges may want to send a message to any future politicians who are considering wrongdoing, former federal prosecutor Chris Hotaling believes the judge will take Burke's age and lack of criminal history into account when he's sentenced.

"I think his age will play a role, and I think it will likely balance off the need for the deterrence," Hotaling said.

Burke was first elected to the Chicago City Council in 1969, representing part of the Southwest Side.

As chair of the finance committee, he was considered one of the city's most powerful aldermen.

Now, in the wake of this guilty verdict, there may be renewed calls for term limits.

"I saw some comments by my colleague alder Timmy Knutsen about the length of time served and whether there's a relationship to the way power corrupts, and maybe, you know, we bring back the idea of term limits," Hadden said.