CHICAGO (WLS) -- There's been another glitch in the Ed Burke trial as the attorney for one of his co-defendants has tested positive for COVID.
The former powerful alderman left court masked up Monday along with the other defendants and all the lawyers.
After a slight delay, testimony continued with government witness Pam Smith She is a Burger King regional manager who spoke about her role in a remodeling project at the restaurant in Burke's ward.
Burke is accused of shutting down the project down until the Burger King owners agreed to use Burke's tax law firm, Klafter & Burke. Smith told jurors the Burger King at 41st & S. Pulaski was a "high volume restaurant for the company...the longer it stayed closed, it affected sales and profits."
Smith testified Burke's longtime aide and co-defendant Pete Andrews asked her to stop the project until Burke's office signed off on plans and permits, specifically a driveway permit, which the Burger King legally needed, but had not obtained yet.
In a phone conversation secretly recorded by the FBI, Andrews tells Burke how he plans to deal with Smith and other representatives from Burger King who planned to meet with Andrews the next day in the ward office, telling him, "I'll play as hard-ball as I can."
In an email asking her team to shut the remodeling project down Smith wrote, "I know these guys are very powerful and they can make life very difficult for all of our Chicago stores. ... Hopefully, they do not send the health dept and start messing around with us."
During the cross examination, Smith admitted no one from the city retaliated against their other stores.
Burke eventually green lighted the Burger King rehab project in December of 2017, a day after the Burger King Owners agreed to use Burke's law firm.
Because one of Andrews' lawyers is out with COVID, the Burger King portion of the case will continue later in the trial. Taking things out of order, testimony involving the Old Post office scheme will begin Tuesday morning.