Alderman Ed Burke pleads not guilty to corruption charges

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Longtime Chicago Alderman Ed Burke went before a judge Tuesday morning and pleaded not guilty to corruption charges as Mayor Lori Lightfoot continues to ramp up pressure on Burke to resign.

Alderman Burke was arraigned on federal racketeering and bribery charges. Last week, a grand jury handed down a 19-count indictment against the 14th Ward alderman. Burke and his top political aide Peter Andrews were named as defendants in a federal bribery case against Lake Forest developer Charles Cui.

Burke is accused of using his position as Finance Committee chair to solicit and extort business for his private tax law firm. Prosecutors said Cui used Burke's law firm for property tax appeal work as Cui tried to secure permits for a Northwest Side redevelopment.

I-TEAM: Real estate developer charged as result of Ald. Ed Burke investigation
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The I-Team reports on Charles H. Cui, a Lake Forest real estate developer, the first additional person charged by federal prosecutors in connection to the Alderman Ed Burke investi

Burke was secretly recorded by former Alderman Danny Solis, who wore a wire for the FBI. When developers of Chicago's Old Main Post Office allegedly didn't hire Burke's firm, Burke is allegedly heard saying "They can go (expletive) themselves."

RELATED: Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls on Alderman Ed Burke to resign after new charges filed against him
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on Alderman Ed Burke to resign during a news conference Friday morning.

Andrews and Cui also pleaded not guilty. All three men are scheduled to appear in court on June 21.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has called on the alderman to resign. On Tuesday, Mayor Lightfoot said she is standing by her call for Alderman Burke to stop down.

"I don't know how he can possibly function with integrity, which he will need, and moral authority to do the work for residents of the 14th Ward when he has got a very serious federal indictment hanging over his head," Mayor Lightfoot said. "We need to move forward from this day and I hope Alderman Burke will do the right thing and step aside because I think that's in the best interests of the residents of Chicago."

Burke left court without commenting.

Lightfoot was asked if Burke has responded to her request that he step down.

"I have not had any response from Alderman Burke and I don't really expect to, 18 but I think this day is just as sad day as when we found out about the multi-count superseding indictment against him," Lightfoot said.

Burke's attorneys did not respond to a request for comment after court but they had previously called the charges unfounded and not based on actual evidence. Burke's next court date is July 2.
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