Mayor Lori Lightfoot known as on Inspector Common 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 folks entry to metropolis companies. It’s elementary.”
Gardiner didn’t reply to a request for remark from WTTW Information.
Inspector Common 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 Cook dinner County Circuit Courtroom Clerk has been requested to probe whether or not one of many workplace’s staff improperly accessed court docket data and despatched them to Gardiner. As well as, Block Club Chicago reported Friday that a number of residents and enterprise homeowners had been focused by metropolis employees after they criticized Gardiner.
“What I feel should occur is, and we’re doing this, this morning, is recommending that moderately than demise by 1,000 cuts in rumor and innuendo within the media, there should be a fulsome investigation,” Lightfoot mentioned. “We’re going to advocate to the inspector basic’s workplace that, that investigation occur so we will really unravel what did occur versus what didn’t occur.”
Lightfoot mentioned she had not spoken to Gardiner since these experiences had been printed, 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 Workers Anne Emerson.
Gardiner, elected in 2019, has been surrounded by controversy since he took workplace after defeating former Ald. John Enviornment. In 2020, he was elected to function the forty fifth Ward’s Democratic committeeperson, making him one of many leaders of the Cook dinner County Democratic Social gathering.
The circuit court docket clerk’s workplace declined to establish any staff who’re being probed in reference to the discharge of the court docket data.
Charles Sikanich, who earns $101,000 yearly as Gardiner’s ward superintendent, is the son of a lady who works within the circuit court docket clerk’s workplace and would have easy accessibility to court docket data.
Sikanich couldn’t be reached for remark.
The circuit court docket clerk’s workplace shouldn’t be required to reply to 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 function 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 Cook dinner County Democratic Social gathering have known as for Gardiner, who additionally serves because the forty fifth Ward Democratic committeeperson, to be investigated by the get together’s guidelines committee.