The former head city attorney for Chicago slammed Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a new op-ed, branding her tenure a "disaster" after the City Council voted on Wednesday to pay $2.9 million to a woman who was handcuffed by police while naked during a botched 2019 raid on her home, according to Fox News.
Mark Flessner, the former head city attorney, resigned after the Law Department attempted to conceal video of the raid on the wrong address.
The vote to pay the woman, Anjanette Young, came two days after a council committee advised that the city accept the settlement after Young's attorney agreed to the figure.
Lightfoot used the settlement at the taxpayer's expense to "jump-start her reelection campaign," Mark Flessner, who resigned after the Law Department attempted to withhold video of the raid on the wrong address, wrote in a recent op-ed for the Chicago Tribune.
Flessner outlined how officers executed a search warrant at the wrong address and Young was forced to stand for six seconds uncovered and then another 10 minutes handcuffed and covered with a blanket while officers secured the home. Recognizing the embarrassment Young must have felt and that she should have been compensated, Flessner said the settlement should have been far less, around $50,000. -Fox News
According to Flessner, Lightfoot "has made a deal with the national civil rights movement to raise money for her reelection ... In exchange for national civil rights leaders donating millions of dollars to her campaign, she will do their bidding, like she did in the Young case. Chicago will be poorer for it."
"The mayor publicly criticizes those who work for her and provides little to no guidance. She belittles the City Council, the police and fire departments, and the teachers," Flessner added. "She has no professional respect for any of the hardworking, dedicated public servants who make this city run day to day. That is why her tenure has been a disaster."
In response, Lightfoot said at a Wednesday press conference that she asked for Flessner's resignation because she had "utterly lost confidence in his ability to function as the corporation counsel" and had acted to stop a media outlet from publishing the footage without her go-ahead. "Fundamentally, what was clear, is he just didn’t see [Young]," Lightfoot said. "He didn’t value her experience in that moment, as we all saw in that video," she said.
According to Chicago Corporation Counsel Celia Meza, by settling with Young, the city avoided what could have been a much higher price tag had her lawsuit gone to trial - particularly in light of the fact that Young had repeatedly told officers they were at the wrong address, and because the Civilian Office of Police Accountability recommended that eight officers either be suspended or fired over the Feb. 2019 raid.
"No amount of money could erase what Ms. Young has suffered. No amount of money could provide Ms. Young with what she truly wants — which is to never have been placed in this situation in the first place," Young's attorney said in a Wednesday statement.