Here’s What The FBI Seized From Chicago Alderman Ed Burke’s Office
When the FBI raided allegedly corrupt Ald. Ed Burke’s offices last fall, agents seized documents relating to a longtime supporter of Ald. Danny Solis, who is a government mole.
Records made public Wednesday evening show the feds’ Nov. 29 raid of Burke’s City Hall office yielded two folders pertaining to Brian Hynes, a lawyer and former aide to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago).
Hynes also has been a close ally of Solis for many years. Solis has not been charged with wrongdoing but is cooperating with federal authorities. He wore a wire to secretly record conversations with Burke.
Burke was charged with attempted extortion on Jan. 3.
In a text message to WBEZ, Hynes said he had “no clue” why his name would appear on documents generated in the Burke raids.
“I haven’t spoken to Burke in many years,” Hynes said.
Hynes also said he had not been contacted by the feds since the investigation into Antonin “Tony” Rezko, a former Hynes associate who was caught up in the corruption probe that ultimately nabbed former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Earlier Wednesday, WBEZ reported that mayoral candidate Susana Mendoza has received tens of thousands of dollars in the past year from Solis’ Democratic ward organization and from companies whose board members are also investors in Hynes’ company, Vendor Assistance Program LLC.
Solis’ sister Patti Solis Doyle founded VAP with Hynes but sold her stake in the firm in 2016.
Last May, VAP sent out a news release listing Danny Solis’ daughter Sol Solis as the “contact” person for the company.
The Hynes folders were referenced in handwritten FBI records that the City Council’s Finance Committee released Wednesday, after weeks of stonewalling media requests for the public documents.
Burke had been the committee’s chairman for decades, but he resigned from that post after the criminal charges were unsealed. Burke has hung onto his aldermanic seat and is running for re-election on Feb. 26.
In addition to computers, thumb drives and a Rolodex, the records also show the FBI took a variety of other documents from Burke’s office on the third floor of City Hall, including:
- Correspondences with Burke’s private law firm, Klafter & Burke. Burke allegedly tried to use his power as alderman to force the owners of a fast-food restaurant in his ward to hire his firm to appeal their property taxes.
- The business card of Perry Mandera, who owns a Chicago strip club and a medical marijuana dispensary.
- Documents pertaining to “TIF,” as officials refer to tax-increment financing districts, which are used by the city to subsidize real estate development projects.
- Files relating to “Old Main Post Office recusals".
WBEZ and the BGA reported last month that Burke has recused himself from voting on 464 City Council measures in the past eight years -- four times more recusals than the rest of the aldermen combined.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago, which is prosecuting Burke, did not return WBEZ’s phone for comment Wednesday night.