Ex-Chicago inspector general: Lightfoot administration partly to blame for botched demolition

After a badly bungled demolition job sent a dusty cloud across the Little Village neighborhood, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed the contractor and City Hall imposed fines.

But a report by the Inspector General's Office finds Lightfoot's administration bears a big share of the blame for what went wrong in April of 2020.

The report was prepared by former Inspector General Joe Ferguson, who told FOX 32 he recommended stiff discipline for several city officials, including termination.

"Because there are people who actually were in a high-level position and authority who had sufficient information to know that this thing was not lined up the way it needed to be, on the basis of all the disclosures and the basis of all the expertise. And they failed to do anything to intercede, to slow it down, to stop it, to make sure everything was buttoned down and so the thing went forward without all of the necessary measures in place," Ferguson said.

Ferguson said the city departments that share the blame in the botched demolition have until late next month or early December to respond to the IG’s report, at which point a version of it might be publicly released.


An activist in the Little Village neighborhood said residents are frustrated that it has taken 18 months to get to this point, without Mayor Lightfoot yet acknowledging the mistakes made by her administration.

"We want to know when Mayor Lightfoot and their administration is going to release the report. We are here for accountability and we are also looking for consequences," said Edith Tovar.

A spokesperson for Mayor Lightfoot released a statement: "We do not comment on personnel matters and will respond to the Inspector General's report in the allotted time."