Emanuel allies raise integrity concerns about Lightfoot

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Some allies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel are calling for an investigation into how mayoral challenger Lori Lightfoot handled cases while she headed up the Chicago Police Board. (WLS)

Some allies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel are calling for an investigation into how mayoral challenger Lori Lightfoot handled cases while she headed up the Chicago Police Board.

Lightfoot is being accused of using her platform as president of the board as a springboard to run for mayor.

Now, she is firing back saying her decision to run against Emanuel in no way impacted how she decided cases.

At issue is the fact she bought internet domain names last fall, including one she is using for her mayoral campaign, just weeks after telling the mayor she was not going to run against him.

"This is a total red herring," Lightfoot said, and when asked if she was thinking about running for mayor last August when she bought the domains, she denied it.

"No I was not. I was protecting the integrity of my name, because someone told me they had bought a website with my name on it," Lightfoot said. "I was not thinking about running for mayor but I was obviously being prudent and making sure that somebody else frankly couldn't define me since that was in the air at the time."

Lightfoot is denying allegations that politics in anyway influenced why or how she served during her last nine months on the police board.

"Everything that we did was above board, integrity, and any member of the police board that served with me during that time I feel confident will say exactly the same thing," Lightfoot said.

But that's not the way eight alderman supportive of or closely tied to the mayor see it.

Nicholas Sposato, 38th ward, is leading the charge with calls for an independent investigation of the cases Lightfoot oversaw.

"Well, we are just real suspicious of what happened, we think it was unconscionable what she did, we think it was wrong," the alderman said.

Sposato said Lightfoot betrayed the mayor and alderman by staying on the police board after buying domain names for a potential mayoral run, something Lightfoot didn't officially announce until last week.

"As soon as she started saying she's thinking about it, she's exploring, she should've resigned right then and there, like that," Sposato said.

"It's just asking legitimate questions just to why. I'm not going after her, just check things out," said alderman Danny Solis, 25th ward.

The mayor declined to comment on the accusations.

And though the aldermen deny he put them up to this, Lightfoot suspects otherwise and threw down this challenge:

"If the mayor wants to debate my record on police reform in accountability versus his record, let's start with his highly-questionable handling of the Laquan McDonald case," Lightfoot said.

Alderman Sposato said perhaps the inspector general should investigate the concerns he's raised about Lightfoot.

But an ABC7 review of every decision by the police board going back to August showed that in none of them did Lightfoot cast a deciding vote. Lightfoot said this is all motivated by fear of her campaign.
Related Topics:
politicschicago police departmentchicago mayor electionrahm emanuellaquan mcdonaldChicagoLoop
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