Ald. Ed Burke no longer partner at tax appeals law firm at center of indictment

Burke withdrew from the firm in April, said a spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

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Ald. Ed Burke (14th) walking out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in June.

Ald. Ed Burke (14th) walking out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in June.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Indicted Ald. Ed Burke no longer is a partner at the law firm where he did property tax appeal work that has been at the center of a federal indictment alleging he intimidated people into hiring the firm, officials confirmed.

The embattled Burke withdrew from the firm Klafter & Burke in an April filing with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, a spokesman for the office said.

Burke no longer appears on the law firm’s website; daughter Jennifer Burke and two other attorneys are listed.

The alderman could not be reached for comment Friday.

His departure occurred as he faced federal charges filed in January alleging he shook down a Burger King operator in his Southwest Side ward by withholding approval for city permits to obtain legal business for his law firm.

In May, federal prosecutors filed a bombshell indictment that added to the alderman’s legal woes, accusing him in a sweeping racketeering case of using his powerful 14th Ward aldermanic seat to steer business toward his private tax law firm.

The indictment revealed that, by August 2018, authorities had recorded more than 62,000 of Burke’s phone calls.

Burke has pleaded not guilty.

In a unanimous vote in July spearheaded by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, City Council put limits on aldermen’s outside income — including outside work that could conflict with the city’s agenda, such as Burke’s tax appeals work.

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