CHICAGO (CBS)–Chicago Alderman Ed Burke says he’s running for reelection–a day after a federal criminal complaint was unsealed charging the longtime 14th Ward alderman with attempted extortion for allegedly using his position on the City Council to try to steer business to his private law practice.
In a Facebook video posted Friday afternoon, Burke stands in front of the Chicago and American flags in a room with the blinds drawn closed and says to the camera, “I want you, my friends and supporters, to know that I fully intend to seek reelection and I’m hopeful that you and my many friends will continue to do the work you’ve already been doing.”
Burke on Friday agreed to resign as Finance Committee chairman, and is losing his taxpayer-funded police security detail. The committee he once controlled is being stripped of control of the city’s $100 million workers’ compensation program.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office said it is moving to disband Burke’s protective detail, including police officers who serve as the alderman’s bodyguards, and a police department SUV he uses for work. The security detail cost Chicago taxpayers more than $500,000 a year.
It’s not yet clear when Burke will officially lose that security detail, but the move could happen as soon as Friday afternoon.
Next week, Emanuel plans to introduce a package of ethics reforms on conflict of interest disclosures and how permits and zoning changes are handled. But, he cautioned, rule changes alone can’t end corruption.
“An individual has to distinguish between their public life and their private business, and they shouldn’t let those lines ever cross,” Emanuel said.