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The Latest: Corruption case rocks Chicago’s mayoral race

January 4, 2019
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Alderman Ed Burke, 75, walks out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse following his release after turning himself in, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in Chicago. Burke, one of the most powerful City Council members in Chicago, is charged with one count of attempted extortion in trying to shake down a fast-food restaurant seeking city remodeling permits, according to a federal complaint unsealed Thursday. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on a corruption case against Chicago Alderman Ed Burke (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

A federal corruption case against a powerful City Council member has rocked the crowded race for Chicago mayor.

Some hopefuls sought Friday to distance themselves from Alderman Ed Burke while others painted their rivals as part of the city’s notorious machine politics he embodied for decades.

Burke was charged with attempted extortion in a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday. Federal prosecutors allege he pressured executives of a major fast-food restaurant chain to become clients at Burke’s tax law firm in exchange for a remodeling permit in his ward.

They say he also pressured the executives to donate money to another politician, who now is running for mayor.

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9:30 a.m.

Longtime Chicago Alderman Ed Burke is resigning from the City Council’s finance committee a day after he was charged with attempted extortion.

Investigators allege the 75-year-old Burke tried to shake down a major fast-food restaurant chain seeking city remodeling permits. Burke has denied any wrongdoing.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement Friday saying Burke agrees that “the best course of action is for him to resign” from the finance post he’s held for 30 years.

Burke is one of Chicago’s most powerful and longest-serving City Council members.

Investigators allege he conveyed to fast-food company executives in 2017 that they’d get the permits only if they signed on as clients at his private property-tax law firm.

Burke was charged Thursday with one count of attempted extortion.

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Alderman Ed Burke, 75, walks out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse following his release after turning himself in, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in Chicago. Burke, one of the most powerful City Council members in Chicago, is charged with one count of attempted extortion in trying to shake down a fast-food restaurant seeking city remodeling permits, according to a federal complaint unsealed Thursday. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP)
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