Da­ley fam­ily, friends and as­so­ci­ates have long been gen­er­ous to Burke

Some do­na­tions to cam­paign funds came af­ter fed­eral agents raided em­bat­tled al­der­man’s of­fices

Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - [email protected]­times.com | @RobertHerguth BY ROBERT HERGUTH, STAFF REPORTER

As long­time po­lit­i­cal ri­vals, Ald. Edward Burke and former Mayor Richard M. Da­ley never seemed to trust each other much and weren’t al­ways on the friendli­est terms.

But Da­ley’s fam­ily, friends and as­so­ci­ates have been among the gen­er­ous donors to Burke’s cam­paign funds over the past year, ac­cord­ing to a Chicago Sun-Times anal­y­sis.

Some of those dol­lars flowed af­ter Burke’s ward and City Hall of­fices were raided by fed­eral agents Nov. 29 and Dec. 13, as part of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that on Jan. 3 saw crim­i­nal charges un­sealed against Burke for al­legedly try­ing to mus­cle a Burger King fran­chise owner — while seek­ing city ap­proval for a restau­rant re­mod­el­ing in his ward — into hir­ing his law firm.

And some of those cam­paign dol­lars flowed af­ter Da­ley’s brother, Bill Da­ley, an­nounced he’s run­ning for mayor in Fe­bru­ary’s elec­tion against, among oth­ers, Gery Chico, Su­sana Men­doza and Toni Preck­win­kle — can­di­dates with close po­lit­i­cal ties to Burke or his wife, Illi­nois Supreme Court Jus­tice Anne Burke.

A cam­paign fund for Da­ley’s brother, Cook County Com­mis­sioner John Da­ley, do­nated $1,000 to Burke’s 14th Ward Reg­u­lar Demo­cratic Or­ga­ni­za­tion in a con­tri­bu­tion recorded Dec. 27, records show. A spokesman for Bill Da­ley said the con­tri­bu­tion was ac­tu­ally made in Oc­to­ber but recorded later.

That ap­pears to be the first do­na­tion from the Com­mit­tee to Elect John P. Da­ley to any of Burke’s three main po­lit­i­cal funds in a decade.

The 11th Ward Reg­u­lar Demo­cratic Or­ga­ni­za­tion, also run by John Da­ley, do­nated $1,500 to Burke’s 14th Ward group in a con­tri­bu­tion recorded in May.

That’s the largest of eight do­na­tions from the 11th Ward to Burke’s funds since 2005, though the Com­mit­tee to Elect John P. Da­ley also gave $1,500 to Burke’s Burn­ham Com­mit­tee in 2007.

The law firm of an­other Da­ley brother, Michael Da­ley, has been a con­sis­tent donor to Burke over the years, though 2018 saw the largest flow of cash in re­cent mem­ory.

Da­ley & Ge­orges, Ltd. — whose attorneys also in­clude Mara Ge­orges, Richard M. Da­ley’s top City Hall lawyer for years — made three cam­paign do­na­tions to Burke’s po­lit­i­cal funds in 2018 to­tal­ing $9,000.

In ad­di­tion, the firm gave $5,000 early in 2018 to the cam­paign fund of Burke’s brother, state Rep. Dan Burke, D-Chicago, who ended up los­ing his bid for re-elec­tion. The firm do­nated to Dan Burke in 2014, 2016 and 2017, but no more than $1,500 at a time.

Da­ley and Ge­orges also em­ploys Michael J. Synowiecki, a City Hall lob­by­ist who is mar­ried to a great-niece of Anne Burke and was hired by the firm roughly four years ago.

Ge­orges said Michael Da­ley is still af­fil­i­ated with the firm but has re­tired, and she’s the manag­ing part­ner and makes “the day-to-day busi­ness de­ci­sions . ... It is my firm.”

Asked about the Burke do­na­tions, Ge­orges said, “We give a lot of money to a lot of al­der­men . ... They all have my phone num­ber.”

She said Burke had noth­ing to do with Synowiecki be­ing hired by her firm, and Synowiecki had noth­ing to do with the Burke do­na­tions from the firm.

An­other law firm with long ties to the Da­ley fam­ily, Mayer Brown LLP, has do­nated for years to Burke, in­clud­ing $1,500 to one of Edward Burke’s po­lit­i­cal funds, Friends of Edward M. Burke, in 2018.

Bill Da­ley used to be a part­ner at Mayer Brown. His cam­paign trea­surer — long­time Da­ley fam­ily friend Roger J. Ki­ley Jr., who also worked at Mayer Brown for years — made six do­na­tions to Edward Burke in 2018 to­tal­ing $12,000, records show.

While Ki­ley has made nu­mer­ous do­na­tions over the years to Edward Burke, his 2018 to­tal may be a sin­gle-year record.

Ki­ley, who didn’t re­turn calls, do­nated $10,600 to Bill Da­ley’s cam­paign in 2018.

Bill Da­ley has do­nated to Burke, but not for a decade, records show. De­spite his fam­ily his­tory of pa­tron­age pol­i­tics and crony­ism, Bill Da­ley has been po­si­tion­ing him­self as a re­former in the mayor’s race, and even be­fore Burke’s charges, Bill Da­ley sug­gested that it was time — af­ter serv­ing as al­der­man for 50 years — for Burke to go.

Bill Da­ley re­leased a state­ment Fri­day that said, “Back in Oc­to­ber in the Sun-Times, I sug­gested that 50 years is long enough and Ed Burke should re­tire. I have no in­flu­ence over any other donors. I am fo­cused on the fu­ture of Chicago.”

Richard M. Da­ley’s cur­rent law firm, Kat­ten Muchin Rosen­man LLP, also has do­nated for years to Edward Burke, in­clud­ing $750 over the last year. One of the former mayor’s clos­est friends who worked at the same firm, Terry New­man, gave $1,500 in 2018.

Ald. Pa­trick Da­ley Thomp­son, a nephew of Richard M. Da­ley and his brothers, works for a law firm that’s also given to Edward Burke’s cam­paign funds, but not in 2018.


Ald. Edward Burke


A cam­paign fund for Cook County Com­mis­sionerJohn Da­ley (left) do­nated $1,000 to Ald. Edward Burke’s 14th Ward Reg­u­lar Demo­cratic Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

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