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Ald. Danny Solis Resigns as Zoning Committee Chairman

Ald. Danny Solis has resigned as the chairman of the committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards, the mayor's office announced Tuesday. 

“Alderman Danny Solis has recognized that he cannot effectively preside over the matters before the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards, and he has communicated with my office his intent to resign as Chairman," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. "I commend him for making the right decision for the City Council and the City of Chicago.”

The decision comes amid reports Solis was the subject of a criminal investigation in 2014 and secretly recorded conversations with another beleagured Chicago alderman for federal authorities. 

Solis, who announced his retirement late last year, chaired arguably the second most powerful City Council committee, the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards, that votes yea or nay to where developers can build multi-million dollar to multi-billion dollar projects in the city.

Last week, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Solis secretly recorded conversations with 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke as part of a federal investigation. NBC 5 News has not been able to independently confirm the Sun-Times report.

A source familiar with the matter told NBC 5 that Solis’ cooperation with the feds was brought about by the fact that Solis himself was the subject of a criminal investigation dating back to 2014. To date no charges have been brought against the retiring 25th Ward alderman.

The investigation of Solis, according to the source, focused on his alleged misuse of his official office for his own personal gain and the gain of others.

Solis was absent from Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

Burke, the most powerful alderman in City Council who headed the Finance Committee, was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office with one count of attempted extortion earlier this month. Burke was subsequently removed as Finance chair but is still running for re-election to the 14th Ward where he has served as alderman for 50 years.

He told a reporter again on Wednesday, as he has in the past, that he has done nothing illegal. Earlier this month Burke waived a preliminary hearing.

The last known alderman to wear a wire against City Hall colleagues for the feds was Allan Streeter, of the 17th Ward, who plead guilty in the Operation Silver Shovel investigation in the mid 90s.

Solis has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment.

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