Federal prosecutors in Chicago are accumulating a trove of possible evidence in their case against Alderman Ed Burke, according to local news station WLS.
It’s an enormous undertaking against the man who, in the eyes of some, is the most influential alderman in Chicago’s history. Even though the US Department of Justice has been questioning alderman Ed Burke of Chicago’s Southwest Side for decades, “nothing has been found,” as he said when the current probe began in 2018.
Federal court filings have revealed that the government possesses more than 8,900 covert recordings of Burke’s phone talks, spanning less than a year.
Burke denies the claims of racketeering, bribery, and extortion against him. In a little over a year, his corruption trial will begin.
After his first court appearance, Burke proclaimed, “I’ve done nothing wrong.”
Burke has served as mayor for nearly 55 years, and he is accused of using his influence to require private corporations doing business with the city to hire his private law company. Prosecutors have provided more information in an ever-growing federal court filing.
More than 200 digital discs, over 50,000 pages of electronic documents, and several boxes worth of “hard copy” papers were seized, with thousands of recordings from phone taps totaling hundreds of hours of recorded talks.
The prosecution also points to 16 secretly recorded meetings they believe involved Burke.
Following a massive earlier turnover of data, recordings, and documents from defrocked Chicago alderman Danny Solis, who we now know has also been helping with the FBI against Burke and ex-House Speaker Mike Madigan, the I-Team has reported on new potential evidence.
Solis went undercover and collected nearly a thousand hours of audio recordings, ninety hours of video recordings, and twenty thousand text messages. The US Attorney is providing this massive quantity of discovery information, but prosecutors have indicated that they will only use some of it in their case against Burke.
If previous political corruption trials are any indication, just a tiny percentage of the Burke case’s 8,900 hours of phone records will be played or utilized at trial.
According to sources briefed on the Burke case, the massive amounts of information and tapes already turned over are likely all that will be turned over.
There has been no response from Burke’s lawyer, and the alderman is not seeking re-election.