Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday got caught on a hot mic again at a City Council meeting — this time, using profanity.
As Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33rd) wrapped her remarks on a resolution commemorating Black History Month, Lightfoot can be heard muttering, “You’ve got to be f---king kidding me.”
“Sorry to disappoint the Twitter trolls, but my comment had nothing to do with anything that was actually going on at City Council. I’ve explained that to Alderman Rodriguez [Sanchez] and she understands that,” the mayor told reporters later.
Shortly after Lightfoot took office, Patrick Murray, then second-vice-president of the Fraternal Order of Police, rose during the public comment session that precedes every Council meeting.
Lightfoot was picked up by a live microphone telling her then-corporation counsel Mark Flessner, “Back again. This FOP clown.”
Lightfoot said later she was “sorry that I said that out loud” but did not apologize for what she said.
This time, Lightfoot got caught during a virtual Council meeting and audio of the mayor’s profane remark was circulating on social media within minutes.
Lightfoot wasted no time, texting Sanchez to say the remark had nothing to do with what the alderman was saying.
“She sent a text saying that her staff brought something to her attention and that was her expression to what her staff brought to her while she was presiding,” Sanchez told the Sun-Times.
“I’m going to take her words as the truth and I’m gonna move on.”
Asked if Lightfoot had apologized, Sanchez said, “It wasn’t an apology. It was a clarification. … She texted me to clarify that what was said was not said in reference to what I said.”
At the time of Lightfoot’s second hot-mic clip, Sanchez was talking about “embracing Blackness in our cultures” and about her belief that “the Latino culture struggles a lot with anti-Blackness.”
“In the Puerto Rican culture, there is a feeling of anti-Blackness. And I was talking about the importance of uplifting Blackness in our communities. I talked about sending love and solidarity to Black people in the United States. Feeling the exhaustion of existing while Black in the United States,” Sanchez said.
“I talked about being grateful for the contributions of Black people in the United States and city of Chicago. And I said we had a responsibility to make this city a better place for all. That’s the last thing you can hear in the video being circulated.”
Given historic tensions between Blacks and Hispanics in Chicago, Sanchez was asked whether it’s possible Lightfoot was being dismissive of her remarks.
“Ummm ... I have no idea what the mayor was thinking. But I would not want to believe that was the case. I don’t think that there is any reason for her to talk that way about any comments that I made today,” the alderman said.
“I’m pretty sure she was probably talking about something else and didn’t mute her microphone. I am pretty confident that there was no reason. I didn’t say anything in my speech that would prompt not only the mayor, but anybody, to say something like that.”