Chicago, IL – Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is kicking back on vacation with her wife and daughter in Maine, despite having ordered the city’s police officers to cancel any of their summer travel plans.
Lightfoot publicly accosted Chicago Police First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio – the department’s second in command – after he refused to follow her order that he and other top brass cancel their pre-planned vacations back in June, WGN reported.
Superintendent Riccio blew off Lightfoot’s directive, and took his pre-planned family trip to Aruba despite her edict that all non-union police officials, known as “exempts,” should plan to stay in the city through the summer months, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The superintendent’s trip was “approved and paid for in October of 2018, prior to the mayoral transition,” Chicago Police Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi noted. “Superintendent Johnson approved the first deputy taking this time off given arrangements were previously approved.”
Lightfoot heard about Deputy Superintendent Riccio’s vacation from reporters and immediately expressed her displeasure.
“That would be incredibly disappointing to me if that happened because I gave a very specific directive that no exempt should be taking vacation during the summer,” Lightfoot said at the time. “So, if that happened, that’ll be something that we have to have a serious conversation about.”
“The exempts have to set the example,” she declared, according to WGN. “And the example of doing something the mayor has directed them not to do is highly problematic.”
While visiting a police strategic command center on Aug. 15, Lightfoot discussed the personal sacrifices she makes as a public servant.
“People tell me all the time to ‘oh you’re so busy and you should take time off,’ [but] it’s really important for me to be visible,” she claimed.
Lightfoot departed on her week-long vacation just days later, even though 22 people were wounded and 3 were murdered in a series of shootings across the city this past weekend, WGN reported.
“While the mayor is away, she is in communication with CPD multiple times a day, including providing direction during today’s accountability meeting with CPD and is prepared to return to Chicago at a moment’s notice should she need to,” Lightfoot’s spokesperson, Anel Ruiz, told WGN.
Ruiz said that Lightfoot’s order that command staff refrain from taking any personal time still stands.
“The mayor has made clear her expectations about the use of vacation time for the Chicago Police Department,” Ruiz continued. “She also made it clear that ensuring the safety of all Chicagoans is her top priority.”