Amid a Federal Investigation, Who Will Attend Ald. Ed Burke's Christmas Party?

Burke is the longest-serving alderman in Chicago history, elected in 1969, and chairs the powerful Finance Committee

Five days after the F.B.I. Raided two of alderman Ed Burke's offices, he hosts his annual holiday party -- that is also a fundraiser.

Who will show up Tuesday as the feds comb through Burke's computer records?

In the past -- this was one of those command performances -- a who's who of Chicago politics, labor and civic leaders. More than 1,000 would attend, but with a federal cloud hanging over Burke, there may be some party no shows.

The invitation to the party includes a personal message that reads "I look forward to continuing to work in the City Council" and "Let us reflect on another wonderful year and give thanks." Clearly that was written before the federal raid at two of his offices last Thursday. Mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot wonders who will attend Burke's bash?

"They show up and they go to kiss the ring, under these circumstances, I think it raises some serious questions about them and their lock on the status quo," she said.

Burke says he's been investigated before.

"In every instance we cooperated fully," he told reporters Thursday. "And in every instance nothing has been found. So once again we will be cooperating fully and I am completely confident that at the end of the day nothing will be found amiss in this instance either."

Burke already has $12 million dollars in his campaign fund. Lightfoot, who served as a U.S. Attorney for six years says Burke should lose his bodyguards and finance committee chairmanship -- as he oversees the city's workers compensation program.

"Hundreds of millions of dollars pass thru that committee, there's no transparency, it's completely opaque, we have no idea who's involved, whether things are on the square or not," Lightfoot said. "This is something that was a mistake that Rahm Emanuel gave, in allowing Ed Burke to keep control of workers comp."

It’s called a holiday party, but it costs $150 a person to get in. NBC 5 also checked with several of the mayoral candidates -- those we spoke with said they had other plans Tuesday night.

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