Greising: Even With Passage of an Ethics Ordinance, Aldermanic Privilege Is Alive and Well

This marked the second time since Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was elected that a major ethics reform became law — not due to her initiative, true, but progress is progress.(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Lori Lightfoot addresses guests after being sworn in as Mayor of Chicago during a ceremony at the Wintrust Arena on May 20, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

BGA President David Greising writes every other week for the Chicago Tribune Opinion section.

A major ethics ordinance passed the Chicago City Council on Wednesday. This marked the second time since Mayor Lori Lightfoot was elected that a major ethics reform became law — not due to her initiative, true, but progress is progress.

Minutes later, Ald. Ed Burke, 14th, rose to soliloquize about the honor and integrity of World War II veterans. Yes, that Burke — the selfsame one indicted on multiple federal counts of public corruption — orating practically within arm’s reach of Lightfoot’s high-backed leather chair.

Just a few steps closer, and Lightfoot could have reached out and throttled the man.

The tableaux couldn’t have been more striking: The mayor marks an important step forward on ethics, while the council’s longest-serving alderman, a living embodiment of corruption (if the charges are true), holds forth as if nothing has changed.

Read more at the chicagotribune.com.