A federal judge ordered Tuesday that within his first week in prison former police Cmdr. Jon Burge take questions from lawyers representing an alleged torture victim. (José M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune / March 15, 2011)
Allegations of torture continue to dog disgraced former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge as he is set to surrender to federal prison Wednesday.

A federal judge Tuesday ordered that within his first week in prison Burge take questions from lawyers representing Michael Tillman, who alleges that detectives under Burge's command tortured him into falsely confessing to a 1986 murder for which he served nearly 24 years in prison.

Burge, who has cost the city more than $30 million in lawsuits stemming from the allegations of torture, still has six suits pending as he enters prison.

Burge, 63, was sentenced in January to 41/2 years in prison after a federal jury convicted him of obstruction of justice and perjury for denying in a civil lawsuit that he knew of the alleged abuse.

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Burge, who is said to be battling prostate cancer, is scheduled to report to Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina, according to court filings.

Tillman's attorneys sought an emergency deposition of Burge in late February, citing his health and impending imprisonment.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer approved the emergency deposition this month, but efforts to hold it early this week in Florida, where Burge lives, fell through because attorneys said Burge had a last-minute medical appointment.

In a filing late last week, Flint Taylor, one of Tillman's attorneys, asked that Burge be held in contempt for failing to complete the deposition.

In court Tuesday, Taylor again accused Burge of ducking him, even though he is expected to assert his Fifth Amendment right and not answer questions.

Pallmeyer denied the contempt request but faulted Burge's legal team for not being able to send one attorney to the deposition in Florida. The judge then ordered Burge to sit for a deposition in prison within the next seven days.

Burge's attorneys denied they intentionally tried to delay the deposition and said they will work with the Butner warden so Tillman's lawyers can question him.