CBS CHICAGO — Alderman Ed Burke’s half-century on the Chicago City Council has been plagued with ethical questions surrounding clients he represents through his law practice, and the business they do with the city.
Burke’s relationship with one former client is now trending on the internet.
That client- President Donald Trump.
They were seen shaking hands at the City Club of Chicago in 2015. Burke’s law firm represented Trump for more than a decade.
And according to a Chicago Sun-Times investigation, Burke’s firm worked to persuade Cook County officials to cut the property taxes on the Trump Tower by more than $14 million.
Burke stopped doing tax work for Trump in June citing “irreconcilable differences.” It is not known if Thursday’s raid had anything to do with Burke’s ties to the White House.
But Burke’s business relationships have been investigated in the past.
Earlier this year, Burke was probed by the Chicago Board of Ethics for allegations he violated conflict-of-interest rules by blocking a proposal that would have led to two of his clients paying more in property taxes. But he was cleared of wrongdoing in March.
Rewind 20 years and in 1998 Burke was questioned for receiving up to $300,000 from a developer that he helped get millions of dollars in city assistance. Burke denied any wrongdoing.
Two decades later and Burke’s current statement of financial interests shows that his firm has 41 legal clients who did some form of business with the city government.
Alderman Burke was also linked to a payroll scandal involving City of Chicago Finance Committee staffing practices. He was never charged with any wrongdoing.