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Longtime Chicago alderman charged with attempted extortion

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A criminal complaint, unsealed Thursday morning, alleges Ed Burke used his office for personal gain. He is accused of corruptly soliciting business for his private law firm.

Burke has been on the Chicago city council for 50 years and has chaired its finance committee for the last three decades.

The 75-year-old alderman joins a long list of Chicago lawmakers who have been criminally charged, including ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich, who is served a 14-year prison term for corruption.

If convicted, Burke could face a maximum of 20 years in prison. He maintained his innocence outside the courtroom today.

“Well, what can I say? I’ve done nothing wrong and I’ve always cooperated with investigations in the past. I’ll continue to do so,” Burke said.

The FBI raided Burke’s office at City Hall twice in the last several weeks.

If convicted, Burke could face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

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