Workers' Comp may be target of raids on Burke offices
With speculation still bubbling about what led federal agents to recently raid the offices of longtime Chicago Ald. Ed Burke, Ed Keefe wonders if he has a clue.
“How many pending Illinois workers' compensation claims are there for all City of Chicago workers?” Keefe, a partner with the law firm of Keefe, Campbell, Biery and Associates, wrote in a blog posted to the firm’s website. “Seems like a simple question—good luck getting an answer. I asked and Ed’s troops said ‘we don’t know.’ How can they not know that silly and simple answer?”
Keefe surmises that there are tens of thousands of pending worker’s compensation claims among City of Chicago workers alone.
“Is that because the city is dangerous to work for, or they don’t investigate and deny any claims, ever?” he asked.
Keefe further argued that Burke, also chairman of the powerful Finance Committee for more than 30 years, has amassed a small fortune over the nearly five decades he’s served in city government, with much of the windfall coming from the side job he’s largely carved out by virtue of his political connections.
“He has feasted on the stupid and impossible-to-understand ‘real estate appeals’ tax process to make literally billions of dollars,” Keefe added. “He makes the money ‘legally’ but it is all the result of bumbling by the Assessor’s office. The Assessor screws tax assessments up; Ald. Burke makes a third of the corrections. What a sweet deal.”
Especially for someone who, as Keefe asserts “has never, ever filed a brief or argued a single tax appeal claim” in any court venue.
“Ed Burke doesn’t believe in ‘light duty,’ so injured city workers are off work indefinitely, basically until they want to return to work or they get giant settlements,” Keefe added.
According to Keefe, no one can say with any certainty how much the city spends on workers' comp claims each year, but a single adjuster could be assigned as many as 3,000 claims.
“None of this appears to me to be against federal or state law,” he said. “All of this appears to me to be Chicago politics/corruption.”