Ald. Pat O’Connor on New Finance Committee Role, Burke Scandal

The day after he appeared in federal court to face charges of attempted extortion, longtime 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke resigned as chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee.

Burke controlled the committee since 1983 with little to no oversight – it includes the $100-million-a-year workers’ compensation program.

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On Sunday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he was moving the committee’s vice-chair, 40th Ward Ald. Pat O’Connor, into Burke’s spot and launching an independent audit of the workers’ compensation program alongside Chicago’s Office of Inspector General.

Some aldermen are now calling for City Council to more closely follow Rule 36, which allows City Council members to choose committee chairs, not the mayor.

Meanwhile, Ald. Joe Moore plans to introduce an ordinance forbidding aldermen from obtaining outside employment.

Burke maintains a private tax law practice and O’Connor has also worked privately as an attorney during his 35 years in City Council.

O’Connor joins us in discussion.

Follow Evan Garcia on Twitter: @EvanRGarcia

Related stories:

Should Aldermen Be Banned from Outside Employment? We Asked Them

Burke Scandal Spurs Flurry of Reform Proposals

Burke’s City Council Colleagues Discuss Extortion Charge, Ethics Reform

Ald. Ed Burke Resigns as Finance Committee Chairman

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