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Senior member of Chicago City Council accused of corruption

July 1, 2021 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — Another member of Chicago’s City Council is facing corruption charges, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Thursday.

Alderman Carrie Austin and her chief of staff Chester Wilson are accused of bribery. The indictment alleges Austin, 72, and Wilson, 55, conspired to receive home improvements from construction contractors seeking city assistance for a proposed development in Austin’s ward.

Austin, who is also charged with lying to the FBI, is now one of three sitting members of Chicago’s City Council under federal indictment. Also facing corruption charges are long-time Alderman Ed Burke and Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson, who is related to former Mayors Richard J. Daley and Richard M. Daley.

Austin, who was appointed in 1994, is second in seniority to Burke, who was charged with racketeering two years ago. Thompson was accused earlier this year with filing false tax returns and lying to insurance officials. Both Burke and Thompson have pleaded not guilty to charges.

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Austin’s ward office was raided by the FBI on June 19, 2019. Federal prosecutors allege she lied to the FBI the same day, denying she received anything from the developer of the project. No date has been set for the arraignment of Austin or Wilson.

Austin could not be immediately reached for comment. Wilson, who is also charged with theft of government funds, refused to comment.