CHICAGO — A Chicago alderman facing calls to resign for his alleged use of offensive language in text messages in 2019 apologized Tuesday during a city council meeting.
“I would like to address the text messages from 2019 that were released to the media over the past few weeks. I stand before this body to offer my sincerest apologies for the pain and insult that anyone has endured as a result,” the statement read.
Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th Ward) said he took full responsibility for the words but never acted on those rants.
Leaked text messages from a former staffer show he used misogynistic, homophobic and derogatory language towards colleagues and constituents. He is also accused of withholding city services from critics.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on the Office of the Inspector General to investigate. The FBI also reportedly launched a probe into whether Gardiner retaliated against constituents for political purposes.
The apology comes one day after protesters rallied outside Gardiner’s ward office and demanded he steps down amid retaliatory behavior and use of derogatory language allegations.
“What he is doing is using the power we have given him as an elected official to carry out personal vendettas and that’s not OK and we’re not going to let him do it,” said United Northwest Side president Sarah Gronkiewicz.
The alderman did not state in his address whether he intended to resign.