Chicago (CBS) — Two Chicago mayoral candidates are working furiously to distance themselves from Ald. Ed Burke and the developing federal corruption investigation.
Toni Preckwinkle and Susana Mendoza are trying hard to recast any links to Burke and Ald. Danny Solis.
Preckwinkle is dealing with fallout from her admission that Ald. Ed Burke personally asked Preckwinkle to hire his son, Ed Burke, Jr., and Preckwinkle did.
Burke, Jr., left the sheriff’s office under the cloud of a sexual harassment investigation.
Preckwinkle insists she didn’t know that and handed the alderman’s son a six-figure job in homeland security.
Meantime, Susana Mendoza is doing something candidates rarely do: turning away a sizeable chunk of campaign cash.
She’s donating $141,550 received from Ald. Danny Solis and his allies to a veterans group.
That follows a report, not independently confirmed by CBS 2, that Solis wore a wire for federal investigators, secretly recording conversations with Ald. Ed Burke.
Prosecutors charged Burke last month with illegally squeezing a restaurant chain to use his law firm in exchange for his approval of building permits.
“Given new information that has come to light regarding these individuals and organizations, my value system dictates that I immediately donate these funds to this worthy cause,” Mendoza said.
The money will go to the Montford Point Marines, the nation’s first black Marines unit, which needs funds to repair its Englewood chapter house.
Ald. Solis wasn’t at his city hall zoning committee office, which was dark, or at his ward office, where staffers said they were in the dark.
Outside, a dozen demonstrators protested city hall corruption.
Despite some reports that Ald. Solid plans to resign, a late check with the city clerk indicates he hasn’t done so yet.