The lawsuit, brought by a then-Chicago Parks District attorney, alleges Mayor Lightfoot told attorneys, “You’re out there measuring your (swearing) with the Italians seeing who has the biggest (swearing).”
The lawsuit alleges the mayor went on to say, “I have the biggest (expletive) in Chicago.”
While Mayor Lightfoot was out in public Thursday morning for an unrelated event, she did not speak about the trial.
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The language used in the lawsuit shocked the chairman of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. He said he checked the glasses he was wearing because he couldn’t believe such language would be used by a “mayor of a world-class city”.
“Speaking of genitals, are you kidding me? This is where we are right now. This is very serious,” said Ron Onesti, chairman of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, or JCCIA. .
Onesti said after the Christopher Columbus statue was taken down in Arrigo Park in 2020, the organization wanted to use it in the 2021 Columbus Day Parade and was working with park district attorneys to make that happen.
The lawsuit alleges that when Mayor Lightfoot heard about it, she proceeded to “reprimand and defame” a Park District attorney at a meeting and threatened to have him “fired.”
“Once you see it written, you see how terrible those words are and how vulgar they are. It’s just sickening that someone would say that,” Onesti said.
The plaintiff in this case is George Smyrniotis. His attorney says they won’t speak publicly because, he says, the complaint speaks for itself.
According to the lawsuit, George Smyrniotis was forced to resign, suffering a loss of income and a reduced pension.
The Chicago Legal Department responded in one sentence, “The city has not yet received a complaint and will have no further comment as the matter is currently in litigation.”
JCCIA’s Onesti said the statue is now in a warehouse in the Park District. He said, if true, that the mayor’s alleged language is a looming problem.
“If these statements come true, come to light, of course we want an apology, of course we would be hesitant to ask for a resignation,” he said. “It’s something serious.”
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