Federal investigators have launched an inquiry into Ald. Jim Gardiner’s conduct in office, including whether he retaliated against constituents for political purposes, sources told the Tribune.
FBI agents recently spoke to a variety of individuals with knowledge of Gardiner’s conduct, and approached Gardiner himself last week, sources said.
The probe is just the latest controversy facing the first-term alderman, who has been under scrutiny in recent weeks after text messages he apparently sent were made public by an anonymous Northwest Side group, The People’s Fabric, showing he referred to one City Council colleague as “a bitch” and the top aide of another council member as “his bitch,” and also used the term to describe a political communications consultant.
Block Club Chicago also published a story containing allegations that Gardiner sought to withhold services to constituents of his 45th Ward who have been critical of him and similarly used derogatory language to refer to constituents in texts that were later leaked. […]
Gardiner is facing two federal lawsuits, including one filed by a man who claimed the alderman had him wrongfully arrested in 2019 after he picked up a cellphone that Gardiner’s ward superintendent had inadvertently left at a 7-Eleven in Jefferson Park.
* Block Club Chicago…
A Monday evening rally, organized by independent political organization United Northwest Side, brought residents to Gardiner’s office at 5425 W. Lawrence Ave. They decried the alderman’s vengeful tactics used against his critics shown through leaked texts, allegations that he refused city services to residents, and his sexist and misogynistic language toward constituents and City Hall staffers that residents say make him unfit to serve in public office.
Constituents who say they have been harassed or targeted by Gardiner also spoke at the rally. […]
Last week, Lightfoot called for the city’s Office of the Inspector General to investigate Gardiner.
“No one should ever be denied access to city services because of their political opinion, whom they may have supported in an election. That’s just not how we do things,” Lightfoot said at an unrelated news conference. “We’re never gonna support any effort to deny people access to city services. It’s fundamental.”
* ‘Do Not Help Her’: After Texts Show Ald. Jim Gardiner Called Constituent A ‘C-nt,’ Council Members Want Him Punished
* Ald. Jim Gardiner Used His Power To Seek Revenge Against His Critics, New Texts Show
* A to-do list for Ald. Jim Gardiner - The alderman’s apologies for his stunningly hateful and misogynistic streak are not enough.