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The FBI reportedly launched an investigation into Chicago Ald. Jim Gardiner after questionable text messages were released earlier this month. Nearly half of his colleagues signed a statement condemning the alderman’s actions. As a result, the FBI’s probe will investigate his conduct in office and possible retaliation against 45th Ward constituents, according to the Chicago Tribune report on Sept. 13, 2021.
Federal investigators recently spoke with Gardiner and a variety of individuals who have knowledge of his behavior. The first-term alderman’s latest controversy arose after The People’s Fabric, a community website that focuses on Northwest Side political news, made public text messages he supposedly sent. In them, he referred to City Council colleagues and constituents as b*tch,c*nt, and other derogatory terms.
Moreover, it appears his office denied a parking permit to a woman who criticized him on social media. Barbara Murphy, a Jefferson Park landlord and resident, believes “he withheld his services from” her with the denial — she was singled out after her neighbors were granted the same permit.
Notably, after Murphy complained about Gardiner online, a brick was thrown through her door in November, as evidenced by a video.
In response to Gardiner’s harsh texts, two dozen aldermen called on Gardiner to publicly and sincerely apologize. They demanded he “demonstrate through his actions — not just his words — that he understands the effect of his behavior in creating a toxic environment for those around him.”
Chicago Tribune reached out to Gardiner, the United States attorney’s office, and the FBI. The alderman has yet to respond. Furthermore, the government entities declined to comment.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Chicago Tribune: Chicago Ald. Jim Gardiner’s alleged conduct prompts FBI probe, sources say; by Gregory Pratt, Jason Meisner, and John Byrne
Block Club Chicago: ‘Do Not Help Her’: After Texts Show Ald. Jim Gardiner Called Constituent A ‘C-nt,’ Council Members Want Him Punished; by Justin Laurence and Ariel Parrella-Aureli
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Tony Hisgett’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of NFSA’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License