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Ald. Jim Gardiner Should Be Investigated For Harassing Challenger’s Volunteers, Ethics Board Tells City Watchdog

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CHICAGO — Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th) is under investigation again by the city watchdog for allegedly harassing and threatening volunteers of one of his challengers in an argument that was partially caught on video.

The November incident, which took place in Norwood Park, shows Gardiner approaching volunteers collecting signatures for candidate Marija Tomic. Gardiner spends a few minutes talking to propagandists and tells them they should “run a clean campaign” and “know what you’re talking about,” according to the videoshared with Block Club.

Volunteers who were present for the discussion previously mentioned that the alderman accused them of lying about him and a volunteer thought Gardiner was going to punch him.

Jim Gardiner and Election CanvassersJim Gardiner and Election Canvassers

The Chicago Board of Ethics voted unanimously on Dec. 12 to ask the Office of the Inspector General to investigate the incident, claiming the candidate violated multiple city ordinances, including Prohibited Political Activity provisions “by allegedly harassing individuals collecting petition signatures on behalf of an opponent constituency,” according to his summary of the investigations undertaken.

At the same meeting, the board also voted unanimously to ask the inspector general to investigate another allegation involving Gardiner, according to WTTW. The second complaint alleges that campaign materials supporting Gardiner’s re-election bid were posted in a city facility, in violation of the city government’s ethics ordinance.

In keeping with its rules, the council did not name the alderman in either decision.

Complaints have also been filed with the Inspector General’s Office, the board said in minutes of the December meeting.

The incident marks the second time the ethics committee has asked the city watchdog to investigate Gardiner’s conduct. In November 2021, the Council asked the inspectors to investigate theirs it turns out the alderman violated the city’s code of conduct to “hold back municipal services” to a political opponent And leak a constituent’s criminal record in acts of vengeance.

Gardiner called the Norwood Park crash video a “desperate attempt to gain influence while diverting attention away from relevant issues affecting our community,” but did not answer specific questions about the crash.

Gardiner, who is it under federal criminal investigation and take on a number of others accusations and lawsuits, he is seeking a second term in next month’s election. I challenge him Ana Santoyo, longtime activist and library page; organizer and historian Susanna Ernst; lawyer Megan Matthias; Jefferson Park resident Marija Tomic; and entrepreneur and community organizer James Su.

In an earlier statement, he said his re-election campaign is conducted with “merit that addresses the needs and concerns of residents while building on the many accomplishments he has achieved since he was elected.”

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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