Evergreen Park mayor sends message to Walmart amid changes


EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. – Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton has reinstated a Walmart’s liquor license after he said a message was sent.

Sexton reached out to Walmart last week after social media posts showed employees Phillip Thomas and Wando Evans feeling ill. They both recently passed away from COVID-19.

On Friday night, Sexton told WGN he felt the store told him “half-truths” about the conditions of Thomas and Evans. He pulled the store’s liquor license and requested an investigation after hearing of their deaths.

Sexton said it got the attention of corporate executives who contacted him Saturday morning.

“I think it was a wakeup call for them to get in touch with us and not just be sending out press releases that local authorities don’t know about,” Sexton said.

“They explained the timing of this whole thing and apologized for the way it was handled and assured me that they’re taking steps to make sure that everybody, employees and customers are safe.”

Walmart said the store has been sanitized and passed two separate inspections.

Nationwide, only around 20 percent  of the store’s capacity are allowed in starting Saturday. Stores will now use plexiglass guards at checkout, signage for social distancing and increased cleaning.

After the changes and conversation with corporate, Mayor Sexton said he is satisfied with the safety precautions the company is now taking.

“Whatever we have to do to keep people safe, it’s not about a buck right now, it’s about keeping people safe,” Sexton said.


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