Suit: Dirty politics included no garbage pickup

CHICAGO – A lawsuit accuses a longtime Chicago alderman of dirty politics during municipal elections, including by pulling strings so his challengers' garbage went uncollected.

The federal lawsuit filed in Chicago at the end of last week names Alderman Walter Burnett Jr., two sanitation department officials and the city.

Reached Monday, Burnett denied the allegations.

The plaintiffs are two candidates who ran against the 27th ward alderman in 2011 and lost. Thomas Courtney Jr. and GeVonna Fassett claim constitutional-rights violations.

The lawsuit said one official beholden to Burnett used city resources to help remove Courtney's and Fassett's campaign signs.

It said sanitation trucks stopped home collection of their trash during the campaign, posing a health risk in a city that, in the lawsuit's words, is known for "rat infestations from uncollected garbage."

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