CHICAGO - Critics are aiming fire at Mayor Lori Lightfoot and two top deputies who went on vacation in the days leading up to the Fourth of July holiday, which was the deadliest weekend this year in Chicago.
Last Friday, the mayor complained that a six-hour long, special City Council meeting was a dangerous distraction from efforts to reduce street violence, saying she wanted everyone in every agency to focus on that. Lightfoot's critics noticed two key people were missing in action.
"She allowed her staff to go on vacation (just) days and the week before what is traditionally the most dangerous weekend in the city of Chicago – is outrageous. It shows there's a complete lack of commitment toward addressing the violence," said Alderman Ray Lopez.
More than 100 people were shot and at least 19 killed in Chicago last weekend. The bloodshed made it the deadliest weekend of the year so far.
A spokesman for Mayor Lightfoot said she was returning Friday from a political fundraising trip to California.
The spokesman also wrote: "Working in the mayor's office is a 24/7, 365 job, and members of the mayor's senior staff are constantly connected. Those responsible for on-the-ground operations continued to execute over the holiday weekend, and the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff were fully engaged every day."
Several City Council allies of the mayor declined to speak on the record. But they said Lightfoot has no higher priority than to reduce the bloodshed that's made 2021 so far the bloodiest year in a decade, with more than 2,100 people shot.