Burke faces new charges in superseding indictment

One of the most powerful City Council members in Chicago history faces new federal charges that include racketeering.

Among the charges in the superseding indictment handed down Thursday is that Edward M. Burke threatened to oppose a Chicago museum’s admission fee increase because it didn’t respond to Burke’s inquiry about an internship at the museum for a friend’s child.

Charges first announced in January accused him of trying to shake down a fast-food business seeking city remodeling permits. Burke told journalists then he’s not “guilty of anything.” A message seeking comment at his office Thursday wasn’t returned.

For many Chicagoans, the 75-year-old has personified the city’s machine politics for decades.

A U.S. attorney’s office statement announcing the new charges says they also include bribery and attempted extortion. Racketeering and attempted extortion each carry a maximum 20-year prison term.