Late-breaking news from The Chicago Sun-Times:
The son of embattled Sen. Roland Burris is a federal tax deadbeat who landed a $75,000-a-year state job under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich five months ago, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
Five months ago?
Must have been a coincidence.
Blagojevich's administration hired Roland W. Burris II as a senior counsel for the state's housing authority Sept. 10 -- about six weeks after the Internal Revenue Service slapped a $34,163 tax lien on Burris II and three weeks after a mortgage company filed a foreclosure suit on his South Side house.
I'm betting the check is in the mail.
A spokeswoman for the Illinois Housing Development Authority indicated Wednesday there was nothing improper about Burris II's employment by the agency, whose mission includes overseeing mortgage programs for low-income home buyers and anti-foreclosure initiatives.
Nothing improper for a Chicago Democrat, that is.
Burris II's hiring, however, raises more questions about Sen. Burris' interactions with Blagojevich and his inner circle at a time when the governor was soliciting Sen. Burris for campaign contributions and Burris was angling to have Blagojevich appoint him to the Senate seat once held by President Obama.
What questions? It's Blago and Obama, for heaven's sake!
...Burris II had resolved two federal tax liens in 2005 before being hit with the $34,163 lien in July. That lien against his property seeks unpaid taxes for 2004, 2005 and 2007.
A month after the IRS filed the lien, Burris II's lender filed its foreclosure suit. Since Burris II and his wife got the $372,000 mortgage on July 18, 2006, they've paid less than $3,000 on it, the suit alleges. The balance due is $406,685, including interest and penalties.
The fact that Burris II faces foreclosure but is working at a housing-related state agency "reeks of hypocrisy," said state Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), who was the first to call on Sen. Burris to testify before the impeachment panel.
These Chicago politicians are truly fascinating creatures. I'm thinking of pitching a reality show. It would consist of a crafty sting operation in Skokie, $50 grand in unmarked bills, a smoking hot blonde, a SWAT team and Morley Safer.
Talk about a ratings bonanza.
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