Alderman receives threatening letter, powder

March 4, 2009 5:42:24 AM PST
The FBI is investigating a racially charged letter sent to a South Side alderman. The letter arrived at Ald. Leslie Hairston's 5th Ward office in the mail Tuesday. When the alderman's chief of staff opened the envelope, a powdery substance spilled out of it.

The fire department checked the powder. And tests revealed it was harmless.

"In the envelope was a letter with death threats. People lying in wait in the bathroom to slit my throat. There was a noose and several references to the 'n-word' as to killing myself, as to killing U.S. Senator Roland Burris, his son and Cook County Board President Todd Stroger," said Hairston.

Hairston's staff says in the past, they've received complaint letters from constituents. But this is the first time someone has sent a threatening letter.