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Rahm Can Look at Burke's Cops

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Rahm Can Look at Burke's Cops
Jack Higgins
Rahm Can Look at Burke's Cops

Ald. Ed Burke (14th Ward)

Alderman Ed Burke's police security detail could be on watch.

The powerful finance committee chairman said he may be willing to revisit the circumstance that led to his receiving a 4-to-6 officer police security detail.

Back in 1986 a court order said that Burke was entitled to the detail because of a contentious, racially charged climate in Chicago threatened the alderman who stood in opposition to then-Mayor Harold Washington.

Burke helped lead the Council Wars of that era -- an insurgency plan to nullify Washington's mayoral powers.

When asked about the possibility of removing the detail from Burke, now that the Council Wars have long since ended, new Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said his hands were tied by the court order.

"It's mandated by a court so I don't have the authority to change a court's decision," Supt. McCarthy said.

But documents reveal that might not be exactly true. The 1986 court decree that upheld Burke's privelege, says that the detail could be "subject to further directive of the mayor of the City of Chicago."

Rahm Emanuel, who made an issue of the detail during the campaign, appears to have the power to remove them. But it's not clear that he will.

"I've asked Supt. McCarthy to look into this," Emanuel said at a Wednesday press conference.  "I'm not going to be possessed by this."

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