Chicago’s Lightfoot under fire for allowing top aides time off ahead of deadly July 4th weekend – JP

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is facing criticism for allowing two of her top aides to take time off ahead of the deadly Fourth of July weekend, despite vowing an “all hands on deck” strategy to addressing a surge in shootings across the city.

Lightfoot’s chief of staff, Sybil Madison, told city workers in an email that he would be out of office the Thursday and Friday before the holiday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Sources told the newspaper that Lightfoot’s deputy mayor for public safety, John O’Malley, was also out of the office for most of the week leading up to the holiday weekend, which left at least 100 people shot and 18 killed.

Their absences appeared to have been already scheduled as Lightfoot, as well as Police Supt. David Brown, lamented that a City Council emergency meeting called on July 2 would distract from efforts to reduce street crime during what was anticipated to be the most violent weekend of the year, Fox 32 Chicago reported.

Brown answered questions during the six-hour-long meeting on his summer public safety plan that includes canceling time off for officers.

Officers worked 12-hour shifts during the holiday weekend to increase street presence.

“We were told the meeting we had last week was a waste of time, but your people are out of the office,” South Side Alderman Anthony Beale told the Tribune, criticizing Lightfoot’s “poor leadership” in allowing her top deputies to be off “when we need them the most.”

“[That] she allowed her staff to go on vacation … before what is traditionally the most dangerous weekend in the city of Chicago – is outrageous,” Alderman Ray Lopez, who represents the 15th Ward, told Fox 32. “It shows there’s a complete lack of commitment toward addressing the violence.” – READ MORE

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