Former Chicago Alderman Ed Burke trial delayed after attorney COVID diagnosis

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, November 9, 2023
Corruption trial for ex-Alderman Ed Burke delayed until next week
The Ed Burke corruption trial has been delayed after an attorney tested positive for COVID. Jury selection has been slow for the former alderman.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The corruption trial for former Alderman Ed Burke has been delayed after one of the attorneys tested positive for COVID.

The trial will resume at 9 a.m. next Thursday, with jury selection continuing.

Jury selection has been slow-going.

Once the most powerful and dominant figure in Chicago's City Council for decades, Burke has listened closely as jurors were asked about everything from their favorite TV shows and their dog breeds to their knowledge of the role of an alderman.

Among those questioned were a suburban mother of seven who loves NASCAR, a juvenile probation officer and customer service worker who said she wants to serve on a jury because she is tired of working from home for three years.

For jurors passing through the hallway waiting to be questioned, they may have noticed large black screens and brown paper covering up pictures. One of Burke's attorney's requested a large wall display of famous federal public corruption cases be covered up.

Burke faces 14 counts of racketeering, bribery and extortion. He is accused of using his influence as the powerful chairman of the city's finance committee to steer business to his private tax law firm.

The schemes involved a Burger King in Burke's 14th Ward, the Old Post Office, a Binny's and the Field Museum. The star witness of the case are Burke's own words; jurors will hear recordings from conversations he had with former friend and colleague Ald. Danny Solis. The former 25th Ward alderman wore a wire for two years.