Ed Burke trial testimony turns to FBI's flipping of Ald. Danny Solis into informant

ByStephanie Wade WLS logo
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Ed Burke trial testimony turns to FBI's flipping of fellow alderman into mole
Tuesday prosecutors in former alderman Ed Burke's corruption trial questioned an FBI agent about flipping another former alderman into an informant for them.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's been nearly five years since former Ald. Ed Burke's offices were raided by FBI agents, leading to major political indictments against Burke. The investigation included a fellow alderman turned mole.

Phone and video recordings of Burke himself were played in court Tuesday, as prosecutors questioned an FBI agent about flipping then-25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis and getting him to wear a wire.

Special Agent Ryan McDonald took the stand to discuss Solis, who was also chair of the city council's Zoning Committee, and his cooperation with the government.

The FBI approached Solis in his own home about their ongoing investigation into the personal benefits Solis himself gained as an elected official, including alleged prostitution services and campaign contributions.

They asked if he would cooperate in their investigation into Burke and wear a wire, and Solis agreed.

Jurors heard some of the secretly recorded conversations in court Tuesday.

The Old Post Office over the Eisenhower Expressway, which was in Solis' ward, was to be rehabbed. Feds recorded Burke telling Solis to "recommend the good firm of Klafter & Burke to do the tax work" to the developer.

Burke is accused of coercing people to use his law firm, which does commercial property tax appeals.

Burke is then heard telling Solis "then we can certainly talk about a marketing arrangement for you," and added, "I'm a believer in sharing the wealth."

Defense attorneys said they will call Solis as a witness. The former alderman also cooperated with federal agents in their probe into former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who faces trial next year.