On Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued an official apology. This was for the misstep of a campaign staff member recruiting students from Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges in exchange for class credit.
Following the CPS inspector general’s investigation into the matter, along with its upcoming discussion during at January 23rd Board of Ethics meeting, this statement was made to prevent similar actions from occurring again in future election campaigns.
Campaign Became the Source of Controversy
Mayor Lori Lightfoot was quick to issue a strong rebuke when her campaign became the source of controversy after they sent out an email soliciting student volunteers.
Initially, their statement defended their actions – only changing course following public outrage at what some view as crossing ethical boundaries.
It remains unknown whether Mayor Lightfoot had prior knowledge of this action taken by her deputy campaign manager.
In her address to reporters, Lightfoot stated there must be an “impenetrable wall” between government operations and politics so that public resources are not misused in any way.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the emails should not have been sent, and blamed “a young staffer” for making a “mistake” that was “well intentioned.”
“It never should have happened. It is not going to happen again," she said.https://t.co/WiQ4y5wvVc
— WTTW (Chicago PBS) (@wttw) January 13, 2023
The mayor’s passionate plea marks a necessary step towards preventing further transgressions from occurring within Chicago’s educational system and beyond.
Lightfoot has publicly declared there will be no dismissal of the deputy campaign manager, Megan Crane, who mistakenly released confidential information.
Lightfoot to Fully Cooperate with Any Investigation
The mayor showed understanding and sympathy towards her employee’s situation, claiming they were unaware of any ‘nefarious intent.”
“That person” was allegedly repulsed by their own mistake – which did not go unnoticed, but ultimately resulted in a private warning instead of professional consequences.
The mayor struck a compassionate note, refusing to bow to pressure for rash action.
Instead of firing the employee and appeasing those demanding it, she decided this was an opportunity for her young staff members — highlighting the importance of making responsible decisions in difficult circumstances.
BREAKING: Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reelection campaign sent an email to Chicago Public Schools teachers Wednesday asking them to encourage their students to volunteer to help Lightfoot win a second term as mayor – and earn class credit. @wttw https://t.co/TGNjlIR7Cq
— Heather Cherone (@HeatherCherone) January 11, 2023
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed her commitment to comply with any investigation arising from an incident regarding Chicago Public Schools (CPS), strongly denying even the slightest participation of her campaign’s involvement.
In a statement, she emphatically declared, “absolutely nothing – zero coordination, coercion, or anything else” was carried out by them.
Dismissing the notion of city resources having been used in this regard, she labeled it as a mistake made on behalf of one particular staffer who searched for publicly available emails through Google.
The staffer now recognizes their outreach even through those sources should not have occurred.
Meanwhile, Lightfoot has taken responsibility for the distraction caused by her campaign’s request for CPS’ contact list and pledged a personal apology to CEO Pedro Martinez and Board President Miguel del Valle.
An inquiry is ongoing, as Inspector General Will Fletcher seeks to discover if any school policies were violated in this incident.