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Fran Spielman Show

Fran Spielman Show: Breaking down the charges against Ald. Ed Burke

Ed Burke appeared in federal court Thursday to face corruption charges that allege he used his position as 14th Ward alderman to steer property tax work toward his private law firm.

Burke, 75, is accused of soliciting the business of two Burger King executives who sought his support for a remodeling job at a franchise in his Southwest Side ward. When the executives declined to retain Burke’s firm to handle their tax work, the clout-heavy alderman allegedly approved a plan to play “hardball” with them.

The fallout from the federal charges was almost immediate. Powerful allies like Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle — who was embroiled in the controversy — quickly distanced themselves from Burke. And on Friday, the ward boss resigned as chairman of the Finance Committee, a position that has served as a major source of his power.

Sun-Times’ City Hall reporter Fran Spielman breaks down the charges and the implications with fellow Sun-Times reporters Jon Seidel and Tim Novak.

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