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Chicago ‘Council Wars’ figure pleads guilty to tax crime

March 7, 2019 GMT
Former Chicago alderman Ed Vrdolyak walks with his lawyers out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion charges, Thursday, March 7, 2019.  (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Former Chicago alderman Ed Vrdolyak walks with his lawyers out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion charges, Thursday, March 7, 2019.  (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Former Chicago alderman Ed Vrdolyak walks with his lawyers out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion charges, Thursday, March 7, 2019.  (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
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Former Chicago alderman Ed Vrdolyak walks with his lawyers out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion charges, Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
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Former Chicago alderman Ed Vrdolyak walks with his lawyers out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion charges, Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

CHICAGO (AP) — A former prominent member of the Chicago City Council has pleaded guilty to tax evasion in a scheme to help a lawyer foil the Internal Revenue Service.

Edward Vrdolyak (ver-DOH’-lee-ack) faces a possible two-year prison sentence. He admits helping a fellow lawyer avoid taxes on unreported income related to a multibillion-dollar settlement between Illinois and tobacco companies. The lawyer, Daniel Soso, has pleaded guilty.

In the 1980s, Vrdolyak was leader of a bloc of white aldermen who opposed Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor, at virtually every turn. It was called “Council Wars.”

The 81-year-old told a judge Thursday that he doesn’t practice law anymore but runs “papers around” at the office that bears his name. Vrdolyak pleaded guilty to fraud in 2008 in a kickback scheme.