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Board of Ethics wants Lightfoot campaign investigated over recruiting student volunteers

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The Chicago Board of Ethics on Monday asked the city’s inspectors general and Chicago Public Schools to investigate Mayor Lori Lightfootof the re-election campaign to determine whether the campaign violated the city’s ethics ordinance recruiting student volunteers at CPS and City College in exchange for class credit.

The vote came after a closed executive session. As always, neither the panel agenda nor the case summary identified the subject of the investigation.

But calls for a full investigation by Chicago Inspector General Deborah Witzburg and her CPS counterpart Will Fletcher make it clear that the subject is the mayoral re-election campaign, Lightfoot for Chicago.

The city’s ethics ordinance prohibits elected officials from using city time, resources, and information to mix politics with official business.

“The investigations conducted by the Office of the Inspector General are confidential. There are only very limited circumstances in which the municipal code allows us to make public statements about our investigative work. That said, in my view, the abuse of an official position for political reasons, gain has no place in Chicago. Not anymore,” Witzburg told the Sun-Times.

“If people are aware of any of these abuses, and particularly if city employees see that abuse in their workplaces, they should continue to call us. I appreciate today’s postponement by the council.”

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Ethics committee chairman William Conlon said the board has advised candidates for city office and “everyone affiliated with the candidate in any way — to immediately and thoroughly delete their e-mail lists and remove any government email”.

“The board also advises applicants and those associated with such applicants that emails and other forms of solicitation may be considered coercive if directed at city employees and those employed by Sister City agencies,” Conlon said.

“As always, the board is willing to offer confidential advice before action is taken.

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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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