‘You Know As Well As I Do, Jews Are Jews’: Chicago Alderman Indicted on Multiple Corruption Charges Made Antisemitic Comment
A Chicago city legislator in court this week on multiple counts of corruption made an antisemitic comment about a Jewish lawyer, federal prosecutors alleged this week.
77-year-old Alderman Ed Burke, the longtime dean of the Chicago City Council, was described as “thoroughly corrupt” in a brief.
Burke was charged in Jan. 2019 and indicted in May of that same year on 14 counts, including racketeering, federal program bribery and attempted extortion. For the last two years his legal team has sought to have a judge toss out evidence collected using wiretaps. But a 227-page brief released on Wednesday demonstrated why the monitoring of Burke’s communications was so necessary, prosecutors argued.
The brief asserted that “[A]gain and again, Burke shamelessly tied official action to his law firm’s receipt of business.”
One of the key examples prosecutors detailed was Burke’s alleged attempt to strongarm the developers of the Old Main Post Office, an $800 million development, into using his law firm to appeal property taxes. Burke allegedly made an antisemitic comment about a Jewish lawyer, and was quoted in the document as saying, “Well, you know as well as I do, Jews are Jews and they’ll deal with Jews to the exclusion of everybody else unless … unless there’s a reason for them to use a Christian.”
Federal judge Robert Dow is presiding over the case and has given Burke’s lawyers until June to respond. He has not set a new timeline for the trial to begin, Chicago broadcaster WGN9 reported on Friday.
Burke has pleaded not guilty to the charges and told reporters on Friday that he would “respond in court.”