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Judge in Burge Case Refuses to Recuse Herself

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 12, 2011 6:07PM

U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow said today she will not recuse herself before the sentencing of former Chicago police lieutenant Jon Burge. Burge was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice last June for statements he made in a civil case related to extreme interrogation techniques he and other police at Area 2 headquarters used to coerce confessions from suspects.

Prosecutors are seeking what they're calling a "substantial" prison term for Burge above and beyond the recommended 15-21 months recommended by the probation department. Burge's attorneys filed a motion saying they should have been notified of Lefkow's connections with prosecuting attorney David Weisman, dating back to a murder-for-hire plot against Lefkow orchestrated by white supremacist Matthew Hale in 2003. Hale was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the plot in 2005. Lefkow said she only gave a brief testimony in the case and had no say in prosecuting Hale.