Burge Defense to Be Paid By F.O.P.

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 5, 2008 6:25PM

2008_12_05_burge.jpgNew controversy has erupted in the case of former police Cmdr. Jon Burge as the Fraternal Order of Police has announced they will pay for Burge's defense, a bill the Trib speculates could reach as much as $1 million. Burge was charged in October with perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with charges of police torture.

FOP President Mark Donahue confirmed that the union board voted Tuesday to provide funds for Burge's defense. But Donahue declined to comment further Thursday, saying he would have a more complete statement on the issue Friday.

Referring to the FOP board's decision, Burge, who lives in Florida, said, "I don't have anything to do with what they vote."

Attorney Flint Taylor, who is representing one of the torture victims, expressed anger with the decision, saying, "I think it's outrageous, and it continues a sordid and racist [history for] the FOP of defending police torture in the city." So far, costs connected to the torture cases have cost the city millions of dollars, including $30 million in settlements so far and $7 million on a prosecutors report that took four years to put together and, when released in 2006, said that while some of torture allegations were true, the statue of limitations had expired so Burge and other accused officers could not face criminal charges. [Trib, S-T]