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Alderman Jim Gardiner’s ward superintendent, Gary Sikanich, had a machine gun — valued at $15,000 — seized by federal authorities in August 2021; he is still working for the 45th Ward alderman. Documents released earlier this month states Sikanich is now under investigation by the local division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
The ATF notice states that the machine gun was seized as a penalty for wrongdoing. It is illegal for anyone to own a machine gun, according to Illinois State Law.
Previously, there were rumors that Sikanich had been suspended. However, a Freedom of Information Act Request officer has confirmed that he is still working. In addition, several residents have stated they have seen him driving his city truck over the past two weeks.
According to the Block Club Chicago, a spokesperson for Streets and Sanitation declined to answer any questions regarding Sikanich’s employment. Instead, they have directed the matter to the Office of Inspector General for investigation.
Gardiner’s ward superintendent makes $100,896, according to city-data.
This is not the first time Sikanich has been in trouble with the law. In 2020, Benjamin George, a former Far Northwest Side resident, filed a lawsuit against him and Gardiner. In the case, George alleges that the two men harassed him, inaccurately accused him of a crime, and had him arrested over a lost cellphone.
The former resident stated he found Sikanich’s cell phone at a 7-Eleven and planned to return it to the police station at the end of his workday. His lawsuit also says that Gardiner allegedly instructed Sikanich to report his phone stolen instead of lost.
George’s lawsuit further alleges that Sikanich, Gardiner, and police officers visited the man’s apartment while he was still at work. It states these individuals used disparaging language about him to his roommate, who was his landlord.
The ATF’s investigation comes on the heels of a series of allegations against Gardiner, who has been accused of — among other potential misconduct — using foul language to describe women and withholding ward services from his critics.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Block Club Chicago: Feds Seize Illegal Machine Gun From Ald. Jim Gardiner’s Ward Superintendent — And He’s Still On The Job; by Ariel Parrella-Aureli and Colin Boyle
Top and Featured Image by Naireland Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License