CHICAGO - Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she'll return $43,000 in campaign contributions that may violate political fundraising rules.
The campaign cash came from a series of companies owned in part by Carmen Rossi, a registered lobbyist with contracts at City Hall and extensive financial interests in bars and other businesses regulated by the city.
After the Sun-Times laid it all out in a story by their watchdog investigators Tim Novak and Frank Main, Rossi publicly requested that Lightfoot return the cash.
On Friday, a spokeswoman texted that Lightfoot had agreed to refund $43,000.
The 15th Ward's Ray Lopez is an outspoken City Council critic of the mayor.
"The fact that it took the news and the media and the pressure put upon her to return the money — that she didn't have the moral fortitude to not accept it in the first place — is astounding that this is the same candidate who said four years ago she was going to bring in the light and change the way that we do business at City Hall," said Lopez.
A campaign spokeswoman for the mayor wrote:
"To avoid even an appearance or implication of an issue, we are complying with the request that contributions related to the businesses in question be returned. It is our understanding that those contributions will be donated to charity."
The 15th ward's Ray Lopez, who received $6,500 from Carmen Rossi, said he would ask City Hall's Board of Ethics if any of it should be returned.
He has also filed a separate complaint regarding contributions to Lightfoot from the owner of the Chicago Fire.