All Eyes on Burke Amidst Ongoing Investigation

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

Ald. Ed Burke is trying to conduct business as usual, despite an ongoing investigation.

Burke's offices were raided late last month--and now comes a pointed reaction from Chicago's former aviation commissioner.

Burke has three candidates on the ballot opposing him -- two of them he's challenging their petitions. While that plays out ginger Evans public comments suggest Burke's way of conducting city business may be the reason the FBI raided his offices.

From his private office, Burke arrived at the finance committee meeting Monday.

"Good morning gentlemen and ladies," he said.

That was it -- no answers to questions about the FBI raid last month at his 14th Ward office and his City Hall office. But former aviation commissioner Ginger Evans posted on Twitter "the signs of his conflict were an open secret. Burke attacked and put pressure on city staff regarding contracts and payments on a regular basis."

Burke--who has served in the City Council for nearly 50 years--is trying to knock two of his four challengers--all Latinos. Clem Balanoff advises candidate Tanya Patino.

"When the feds come in, the FBI comes in, raids your office, puts brown paper up on the windows, that is not just been there done that, I’ve been there, done that, been investigated before, they never did what they did this time," Balanoff said.

Burke, speaking some Spanish in a new video posted by the Chicago Teachers Union, says he supports "the kids, teachers and parents." The video was recorded before the Acero Charter School strike was settled.

As for his finance committee meeting, Burke avoided losing a controversial vote -- it's postponed until Tuesday. Aldermen from the progressive caucus appeared to have enough votes to block a plan to spent $1.5 billion in TIF funds.

"The intense oversight that we want to see, still isn’t good enough for people, it’s something they can’t have happen, because it would really fundamentally change the way business is done here," Ald. Scott Waugespack said.

So the drama -- and the interest in Burke is not about to let up.

The full City Council meets Wednesday.

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