Illinois trustees furious scandalous ‘super mayor’ won’t resign, hire Lori Lightfoot to investigate

The mayor of a Chicago suburb’s refusal to resign amid scandal left village trustees aiming to topple the “Dolton dictator” by hiring an outside investigator — former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D).

(Video: CBS News Chicago)

As estimates of the debt for Dolton, Illinois climbed to $7 million, the Board of Trustees, determined to expose the alleged wrongdoing of their scandal-ridden Mayor Tiffany Henyard (D) sought the help of a special investigator.

With a price tag reported at $400 per hour, Lightfoot touted her experience as the former Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois along with her tenure as mayor as she expected the role Monday.

“I am honored that the Village of Dolton Board of Trustees has placed their confidence in me to conduct a thorough and timely independent investigation into the matters outlined in the resolution regarding Mayor Tiffany Henyard and her administration,” expressed the one-time Windy City executive.

“As someone who has made good governance the cornerstone of my career in public service,” she contended, “I recognize that maintaining the trust of those you serve and making decisions in their best interests is essential. The residents of Dolton deserve nothing less than a government that is fully accountable, responsive, transparent, and effective stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

Lightfoot asserted, “As a lawyer, former federal prosecutor, and mayor, I bring expertise in leading investigations of this kind and understand the complex challenges of governing. I will follow the facts where they lead, without bias, and reserve comments until the work is complete. At the conclusion of this investigation, I will provide an assessment of the findings and recommendations. I welcome and urge the full cooperation of Mayor Henyard, her staff, Village Trustees, vendors, and others who have information relevant to this inquiry.”

The hiring came one week after the four trustees seeking answers on Henyard had walked out in protest when a fellow trustee had pushed to adjourn a meeting where residents were locked out over concerns of overcrowding.

Between questionable spending on first-class flights and a professional stylist, debts amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to contractors, and allegations of retaliations from a former employee who alleged a purported work trip to Las Vegas had left her sexually assaulted by a member of the board of trustees, among other claims, locals were adamant to determine how their tax dollars were being spent.

Noticeably absent from Monday’s meeting were Henyard herself and her two supporting trustees while the Chicago Tribune reported that the Del Galdo Law Group representing the village warned the board’s attorney, Burt Odelson, that hiring Lightfoot was outside of their authority as trustees “do not have the power to investigate, or to retain someone to investigate” and Henyard would not approve payments to the former Windy City mayor.

“Anybody who knows me knows I don’t intimidate easily,” said Lightfoot in answering a question from a resident. “I will block out the noise, I will follow the facts where they lead me.”

“I’m expecting there will be some roadblocks,” she added, saying “I am a very determined person.”

A summary of the investigation was expected to be provided to the board as soon as Lightfoot’s bill reached a total of $30,000.

Kevin Haggerty


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