Chicago Ethics Board Refers Mayor Lori Lightfoot Campaign Case to Inspector General

CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago’s Board of Ethics has referred an issue that has landed Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign in trouble to the city’s inspector general’s office.

Although she declined to comment further, Inspector General Deborah Witzburg said in a statement Tuesday: “Investigations conducted by the Office of the Inspector General are confidential; there are only very limited circumstances in which the Municipal Code allows us to make a public statement. about our research work. That being said, in my opinion, the abuse of official position for political purposes has no place in Chicago, not anymore. If people are aware of these abuses, and more particularly if City employees see these abuses in their workplaces, they should continue. call us. We appreciate today’s referral from the Ethics Board.”

Tuesday also marks five weeks until Election Day.

The ethics board, which has been investigating whether Lightfoot’s campaign violated the city’s ethics ordinance earlier this month by sending emails to Chicago Public Schools teachers encouraging students to volunteer for their campaign in exchange for additional credit, met on Monday.

Lightfoot’s challengers jumped on the incident, calling it improper and unethical.

On Tuesday morning, opponent Brandon Johnson said: “Chicago residents are getting tired of politicians always attached to corruption.”

Johnson is backed by the Chicago Teachers Union, which has a rocky relationship with the mayor.

The vice president of CTU is calling for accountability.

“We know that the mayor has been asking students, teachers and principals to volunteer for her campaign for months and has done so repeatedly. So, I don’t understand how that is a mistake, compared to something intentional that is done repeatedly to over time,” said the CTU vice president. Jackson Potter said.

The city’s ethics ordinance prohibits elected officials from using city resources and information for political purposes.

SEE MORE: Lightfoot addresses investigation after campaign accused of trying to recruit students

The mayor blamed a campaign staffer for making a mistake.

On Monday, he commented on the ethics board’s involvement.

“We will cooperate with any investigation that there is. We have said that we will. And I am confident that what any investigator will find is that this was an error, that it was not born of intent,” Lightfoot said.

With five weeks to go until Election Day, the mayor is boosting poll numbers collected by her own campaign between January 18 and 22, which show her in the lead, with 25% of the vote.

It shows Paul Vallas in second place and Jesús “Chuy” García third.

Regarding the Lightfoot campaign’s complaint, the ethics board said it will post more information on its website and Twitter on Tuesday.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.