Ald. Austin has faith feds won’t find anything in probe, but doesn’t want to talk about it
“I try to live my life above board. If I haven’t, then I have to reckon that with God,” Austin said Wednesday.
Ald. Carrie Austin said Wednesday she has “faith” that nothing will come of a federal investigation of her and her family — but she doesn’t want to talk about it.
At a ceremony announcing the opening of a new community health center and office space in Morgan Park, Austin (34th) and Mayor Lori Lightfoot were together on the South Side for the first time since the feds raided Austin’s ward office while the two were highlighting a school mentoring program.
That was in June, when Austin was named in a federal grand jury subpoena seeking records regarding her latest home purchase and her campaign contributions, and FBI agents lugged out files and equipment from her Far South Side ward office.
The subpoena also sought “items related to ... employees, family members.”
On Wednesday, Austin got a hug from the mayor who had dumped her as chairman of the City Council’s powerful Budget Committee.
After the ceremony, Austin said she is confident the ongoing federal investigation won’t end with any indictments — either of her or her relatives, employees or associates.
What makes her so sure?
“Faith. … I try to live my life above board. If I haven’t, then I have to reckon that with God — not man,” she said.
She said she doesn’t believe she is under a “federal cloud.”
“I haven’t been charged with anything,” she said. “They’re looking to see if am I associated with something. I am not.”
Austin maintained her innocence despite being reminded the feds don’t get a warrant to raid a politician’s ward office without convincing a judge there is probable cause that a crime has been committed and evidence of that crime is inside.
“They were investigating,” the alderman said.
She declined to answer further questions.
“It’s over. … If you don’t want to talk about this [project], then I don’t want to talk. I’m not gonna let you worm me into that conversation,” she added.
“Let’s talk about this situation. Not about anything else.”