Chicago, IL – The number two man at the Chicago Police Department has earned himself a spot on newly-elected Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s naughty list for taking his pre-planned June vacation.
Chicago Police First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio went to Aruba for the week of June 1 to June 7 despite an edict from the mayor that all non-union police officials, known as “exempts,” should play to stay in the city through the summer months, the Chicago Tribune reported.
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. “So, if that happened, that’ll be something that we have to have a serious conversation about.”
She said she needed to learn more about the situation before commenting on it directly, but said that she felt the officials “have to set the example. And the example of doing something that the mayor has directed them not to do is highly problematic.”
Chicago Police Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi confirmed that the official had been on vacation in June, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Guglielmi said that Deputy Superintendent Riccio “had a June 2019 family vacation that was approved and paid for in October of 2018, prior to the mayoral transition. Superintendent Johnson approved the first deputy taking this time off given arrangements were previously approved.”
He said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson had blessed his No. 2 man taking the pre-planned trip despite the mayor’s demand that all officials plan to stay in the city all summer because it had been approved prior to the mayoral transition, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“The superintendent approved it given it was preauthorized and since Riccio would be in town working the Memorial Day deployment,” Guglielmi said.
A spokeswoman for the mayor refused to comment on the police department’s explanation of the official’s absence.
“The mayor has made clear her expectations for the Chicago Police Department, and she has full confidence that every member will meet those standards going forward,” she said.
Lightfoot began involving herself in the Chicago Police Department as soon as she was elected.
However, it wasn’t known whether the mayor had officially told police officials to cancel summer vacations after her April 2 election or after she actually took office on May 20, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
It was unclear as to whether the mayor had announced that she expected all police officials to cancelled pre-existing travel plans.
There’s been no word on whether Deputy Superintendent Riccio will face discipline in the incident, WBBM reported.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Lightfoot has been very active in helping to manage the police department since she took office.
Prior to being elected, she had been very involved in the police accountability and reform movement in the city.
She campaigned on a promise to reduce crime, the Chicago Tribune reported.
At the start of summer, Lightfoot established “Accountability Mondays” to meet with police officials and administration leadership to review the Chicago crime statistics from the prior weekend.
“I now get an alert every time there’s a shooting and I look at these things and I just think, ‘Dear God,’” the mayor said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “This isn’t news to me. I know shootings happen. I know they’re happening at a volume that is unacceptable but when you see my inbox, I go away for half an hour and I come back and it’s just flooded with emails. We have to start talking about not accepting this behavior as something that is just business as usual.”
She said the alerts in her mailbox were a reality check to the scope of the problem.