Trial resumes with Field Museum testimony

A longtime Field Museum government affairs director was calling powerful Chicago Ald. Edward Burke to ask for his support for the museum’s fee-increase proposal in September 2017 when he caught her off guard with an immediately chilly demeanor.

“Well, uh, I was surprised to hear from you as a matter of — to be very frank,” a gruff-sounding Burke said to Deborah Bekken on the Sept. 8, 2017, call, which was played for the jury at his corruption trial Monday. Burke grew more icy as he explained that he’d recommended a good friend’s daughter for an internship at the Field Museum but never heard back.

“I was quite disappointed and surprised that I never heard another word after my initial request,” the alderman said on the call, which was secretly being recorded by the FBI. “So now, you’re going to make a request of me?”

Bekken had no idea at the time what internship Burke was talking about. She stammered in reply: “Well, uh, what I wanted to do was to ― ”…

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