Why Would He Think That?
An admitted drug trafficker assumed the $15,000 he allegedly paid two attorneys more than a decade ago was used in part to pay bribes to Ald. Ed Burke (14th) and others to get the zoning on his Southwest Side property changed to build apartments, according to a motion by federal prosecutors.
The dealer, Saul Rodriguez, is a government witness in the trial of former Chicago Police Officer Glenn Lewellen and five other men charged with drug conspiracy.
At a friend’s suggestion, Rodriguez met with two attorneys to speed things up. One lawyer suggested they get Burke on the phone and made a call, which Rodriguez assumed was to Burke. The other attorney allegedly told Rodriguez “this will be done shortly,” according to the government motion.
Rodriguez said one of the attorneys told him the rezoning would cost about $15,000, and the money had to be paid to the lawyers before he could see Burke, according to the government motion.
Rodriguez told federal agents he made the payment to the lawyers and met briefly with Burke, who said the rezoning would be no problem, according to the government’s motion. The City Council approved the rezoning in February 2000.
So he did meet Burke, but can't say for sure any money went to Burke, even though the rezoning went through. We'd hate to assume that anyone went back on their word - after all, if you buy a politician, he really ought to stay bought.