While campaigning for reelection in January, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot criticized Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for “handing out certificates of innocence like they’re candy.”
Foxx took offense at the comment, and fired off a text to the mayor asking for a call and telling her: “I’m assuming they misquoted you given we don’t give certificates, judges do. If in fact you said this, I remain disappointed that you continue to say things that aren’t true.”
“Kim, I apologize for my inartful words which were not accurately captured but nonetheless were too casual and flippant given the serious nature of the topic,” Lightfoot responded, according to text messages released by her office.
That was not the end of the exchange, however. Lightfoot’s office released only those messages between the mayor and state’s attorney in response to a Tribune Freedom of Information request. The Tribune asked Foxx’s office for her text messages with Lightfoot the same day and the State’s Attorney’s office released a broader exchange.
“But as you know from our past conversations directly about these and other post conviction issues, we have been greatly distressed by the way in which your office handles these matters,” Lightfoot texted. She complained that her team had been “totally and pointedly rebuffed” while trying to address the matter with Foxx’s office.
“Obviously, there are legacy issues with the CPD that your office is dealing with in the post conviction process, but I have always thought, respecting each other’s independent and different jurisdictions, that there was a way for better communications,” Lightfoot said. “I am sure you are aware that once these cases are resolved in the county, they immediately go to federal court and file 9 and 10 figure lawsuits against us and we know about the cases for the first time when we see the plaintiff’s press release.”
She continued: “Of course the judges make the ultimate decision but as you know and I know, that decision is most times heavily influenced by the recommendation of the state’s attorney. Happy to get my team in a room with your team to discuss again. It would be great to make progress.”
Foxx fired back: “Lori, you were wrong. Period. Your apology was sufficient. This is bulls—. You need not write a dissertation for fear of FOIA. Just be honest. That’s all. Just be honest.”
Lightfoot then criticized Foxx for relying on plaintiffs’ lawyers and wrote, “When you cool off and want to have another official conversation about this topic that is very urgent for us, I will bring my team to your office and we can discuss.”
The exchange is a notable glimpse at the behind-the-scenes argument between a City Hall worried about liability and prosecutors dealing with a contentious legacy of wrongful convictions in the county. But it’s also a potentially significant transparency violation by Lightfoot’s office, which declined to explain why they didn’t produce the entire exchange.
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via Chicago Tribune https://ift.tt/DLGwaVN
April 13, 2023 at 04:53PM