At the October City Council meeting, Lightfoot surprised the council with a direct introduction attempting to install soon-to-be retired Ald. James Cappleman, 46th, as chair of the committee, bypassing King, a former teacher who as vice chair can conduct committee business and has sought the permanent leadership role since Scott stepped down.
Miffed by the rushed process and asserting a rare bit of independence from the mayor, aldermen rejected Cappleman’s appointment in a 29-18 vote. After the vote, King and Lightfoot shared a brief, heated exchange that spilled over after the meeting into accusations of playing politics.
King, who in the vice chair role has the power to call meetings of the committee, told reporters she believed Lightfoot tried to install Cappleman because King had sought to hold a hearing with Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez and was introducing an ordinance calling for quarterly meetings with CPS leadership.
“Instead of bringing the light in, instead of being transparent and having CPS come in front of this body, which gives them a lot of money, which has the same constituents that they share, she wanted to install somebody else to do her bidding,” King said Wednesday. “My colleagues stood up and spoke against that.”
Lightfoot accused King of playing politics on the City Council floor to deny Cappleman the role. To dismiss aldermanic criticism that the rushed nature of the appointment played a role in the vote, the mayor also incorrectly said Cappleman’s appointment had been approved in committee the day before. The appointment was not introduced or approved in committee.
Lightfoot also said she’s confident Cappleman’s appointment will be approved at a later meeting.
The November committee meeting will be a test of King’s ability to prove she retains her colleagues’ support, as Lightfoot could ask her allies to not attend and deny King the attendance required to obtain a quorum and conduct the session.
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October 28, 2022 at 07:22PM