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Mayor Introduces Ethics Reforms For City Council Weeks After Ald. Ed Burke Charged

Chicago (CBS) -- With Chicago's mayoral race just about six weeks away, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed broad ethic reforms for the city council to consider after an alderman was recently charged with attempted extortion.

Part of the mayor's proposal requires aldermen to explain why they want construction permits denied. Conflict of interest rules would be stricter, and the types of outside jobs aldermen can and cannot take would be outlined.

This comes just weeks after powerful Ald. Ed Burke was charged in a federal attempted extortion case.

Federal authorities accuse Burke of withholding a zoning change for a driveway at a Southwest Side Burger King in his ward while trying to get the owners to retain his independent law firm for the tax work.

Longtime Chicago political consultant Don Rose says the proposed reforms fall short.

"It's become fashionable now that somebody's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar for a lot of people who were never for reform suddenly have become reformers," Rose said. "I would say it's more than a day late and more than a dollar short."

Ald. Burke stepped down as chair of the finance committee.

These reforms are expected to be introduced before city council in the coming weeks.

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