Wednesday, June 19, 2019

What are the feds looking for in #Ward34?

I found this through CapFax this evening, Crain's political writer Greg Hinz looks into the executive of a search warrant by federal authorities on Ald. Carrie Austin's Ward 34 offices.
According to a knowledgeable source close to the matter, the feds are not looking at alleged official misuse of the office as they were with Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, who has been accused of racketeering and extortion of builders and others. Rather, the current probe relates to use of campaign money, of which Austin had plenty as (until recently) chairwoman of the powerful City Council Budget Committee.

The feds specifically are examining business deals, in both the city and suburbs, involving Austin and members of her staff, my source says. The investigation has been going on for “many months,” is said to be “very solid” and may head in some directions that have not yet become public.

My source says Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who pushed Austin out as Budget Committee chair when the new City Council handed out leadership slots last month, was not specifically aware of the coming raid or charges. If Lightfoot had known, she might not have worked to get Austin the chairmanship of another, if lesser, committee, on contract oversight and equity.
I just had to share this CBS 2 video on the "office raid" on Ald. Austin that aired earlier in the afternoon on the 5 PM broadcast. [VIDEO]

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