Mayor Lori Lightfoot referred to as on Inspector Normal Joseph Ferguson to probe whether or not Ald. Jim Gardiner (forty fifth Ward) has used his workplace to retaliate towards political opponents.
“Nobody ought to ever be denied entry to metropolis companies due to their political opinion, whom they might have supported in an election,” Lightfoot mentioned at an unrelated information convention Friday morning. “That’s simply not how we do issues. We’re by no means gonna help any effort to disclaim individuals entry to metropolis companies. It’s elementary.”
Gardiner didn’t reply to a request for remark from WTTW Information.
Inspector Normal Joseph Ferguson’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
WTTW News was first to report Thursday that the watchdog for the Prepare dinner County Circuit Court docket Clerk has been requested to probe whether or not one of many workplace’s staff improperly accessed courtroom information and despatched them to Gardiner. As well as, Block Club Chicago reported Friday that a number of residents and enterprise homeowners have been focused by metropolis staff after they criticized Gardiner.
“What I feel must occur is, and we’re doing this, this morning, is recommending that reasonably than loss of life by 1,000 cuts in rumor and innuendo within the media, there must be a fulsome investigation,” Lightfoot mentioned. “We’re going to advocate to the inspector common’s workplace that, that investigation occur so we will truly resolve what did occur versus what didn’t occur.”
Lightfoot mentioned she had not spoken to Gardiner since these stories have been revealed, though she did ask him to apologize for sending profane and misogynistic texts to a former aide disparaging Ald. Tom Tunney (forty fourth Ward) and thirty second Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack’s Chief of Employees Anne Emerson.
Gardiner, elected in 2019, has been surrounded by controversy since he took workplace after defeating former Ald. John Area. In 2020, he was elected to function the forty fifth Ward’s Democratic committeeperson, making him one of many leaders of the Prepare dinner County Democratic Get together.
The circuit courtroom clerk’s workplace declined to determine any staff who’re being probed in reference to the discharge of the courtroom information.
Charles Sikanich, who earns $101,000 yearly as Gardiner’s ward superintendent, is the son of a lady who works within the circuit courtroom clerk’s workplace and would have quick access to courtroom information.
Sikanich couldn’t be reached for remark.
The circuit courtroom clerk’s workplace will not be required to answer Freedom of Info Act requests.
Six residents sued Gardiner in June after the alderperson blocked them from the Fb web page he makes use of in his position as an elected official.
Greater than 20 members of the Chicago Metropolis Council signed a letter condemning Gardiner’s textual content messages.
As well as, greater than a dozen members of the Prepare dinner County Democratic Get together have referred to as for Gardiner, who additionally serves because the forty fifth Ward Democratic committeeperson, to be investigated by the celebration’s guidelines committee.