Powerful Chicago alderman steps down from finance post

CHICAGO (AP) — A longtime Chicago Alderman resigned from the City Council’s finance committee a day after he was charged with attempted extortion.

Investigators say 75-year-old Ed Burke tried to shake down a major fast-food restaurant chain seeking city remodeling permits. Burke has denied any wrongdoing.

According to WGN, a criminal complaint filed against Burke claims that he tried to extort money from the owners of a group of Burger Kings.  The complaint alleges that Burke wanted campaign money from the Burger King’s owners; in exchange he would approve a remodeling permit and use Burke’s law firm to represent them.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement Friday, January 4 saying Burke agrees that “the best course of action is for him to resign” from the finance post he’s held for 30 years.

Burke is one of Chicago’s most powerful and longest-serving City Council members.  He was elected alderman in 1969, according to Chicago Tribune.

Investigators allege he conveyed to fast-food company executives in 2017 that they’d get the permits only if they signed on as clients at his private property-tax law firm.

Burke was charged Thursday with one count of attempted extortion.