Chicago ‘Council Wars’ figure pleads guilty to tax crime

March 7, 2019
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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.

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