Walter Burnett Jr.

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Walter Burnett, Jr.
City of Chicago Alderman
from the 27th Ward
Assumed office
May 1995 (1995-05)
Preceded by Dexter Watson
Personal details
Born (1963-08-16) August 16, 1963 (age 54)
Illinois Medical District
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Darlena Burnett (m. 1991)
Children Two sons
Residence Chicago, Illinois
Alma mater Northeastern Illinois University (B.A.)
Profession Alderman
Website Official Website

Walter Burnett Jr. has served as the alderman for Chicago’s 27th ward since his first election in 1995. The 27th ward includes the West Loop, Greektown, East Garfield Park, Near North Side, Old Town, West Humboldt Park, West Town, Goose Island and the Illinois Medical District.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Walter Burnett, Jr. was born August 16, 1963 at Cook County Hospital in the Illinois Medical District.[2][3] Burnett served two years in jail for armed bank robbery in Kankakee.[4]

Political career[edit]

Burnett had an 11-year career working for the Cook County government, where he had a variety of jobs including working as special assistant to Jesse White who was then Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Burnett later worked on Jesse White’s campaign for Illinois Secretary of State.[3]

Public service[edit]

Burnett pleaded guilty to armed robbery and was released from prison in 1984, showing his commitment to serving the public.[5] Burnett recently allowed a 1,000 person party in his ward to devolve into a riot that 25 squad cars could not contain.[6]

Aldermanic career[edit]

Despite a 1993 Illinois state law that barred felons from holding local office, Burnett ran for alderman in the new 27th ward.[4] Burnett defeated Dexter Watson, a protege of Rickey R. Hendon who had been appointed to succeed Hendon after Hendon's election to the Illinois Senate.[3]

Burnett paid his mother, Dorothy Burnett, nearly $20,000 in 2008 from his taxpayer-funded aldermanic expense allowance. "I have no problem helping my mother," Burnett said. "That's my mother."[7] Concerning Burnett , "when he does speak up, he often comes across as unpolished, unscripted, and unsophisticated—an entertaining but lightweight elected official who follows orders so he can enjoy the comforts of political incumbency." [8]

Personal life[edit]

Alderman Burnett is married to Darlena Williams-Burnett. Williams-Burnett challenged incumbent Congressman Danny K. Davis in the February, 2010 Democratic primary and lost.[9] Burnett was recently punched in the face outside of his office.[10] Burnett also had his bike stolen from his office.[11]


  1. ^ Lulay, Stephanie (2015-02-24). "Longtime Ald. Walter Burnett Wins 27th Ward Election, Landing Sixth Term". Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  2. ^ "About Me - Facebook". 
  3. ^ a b c Dumke, Mick (2012-01-09). "The making of an alderman". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  4. ^ a b "Criminal Past A Shadow New Alderman Just Can't Shed". Chicago Tribune. 1995-04-30. Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  5. ^ "Criminal Past A Shadow New Alderman Just Can't Shed". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  6. ^ "1,000-Person Gang Party Too Big For Police In 25 Squads To Stop, Ald. Says". DNAinfo Chicago. Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  7. ^ Dardick, Hal (2009-08-15). "What's in Chicago aldermanic expense accounts?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-08-18.  External link in |work= (help)
  8. ^ Dumke, Mick. "The making of an alderman". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  9. ^ Dumke, Mick (2010-01-28). "Congressman Danny Davis Faces Some Real Opposition For Once". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2010-01-29.  External link in |work= (help)
  10. ^ "Video Shows Man Sucker-Punching Ald. Walter Burnett". DNAinfo Chicago. Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  11. ^ "Ald. Walter Burnett's Lousy Spring: First Punched, Now His Bike Gets Stolen". DNAinfo Chicago. Retrieved 2017-06-22. 

External links[edit]