Results of CPD union runoff election expected in coming days
Two months after an election in which no candidate received at least 50% of the vote, the choice is between union President Kevin Graham and John Catanzara.
Rank-and-file Chicago police officers will soon learn who will lead their union for the next three years.
Two months after an election in which no candidate received at least 50% of the vote, the choice is between union President Kevin Graham and John Catanzara, who is assigned to administrative duty.
Thursday was the last day for officers to cast in-person ballots at the union’s West Loop headquarters, though most votes were mailed in. Graham said vote totals are expected to be announced some time between Friday and early next week.
Graham assumed union leadership three years ago after beating former President Dean Angelo Sr. in another runoff. Graham and Catanzara were two of five candidates running in the general election in March.
Catanzara finished first in that race, earning 32% of the 8,316 votes that were cast. Graham finished second with 25%, narrowly edging out Martin Preib, the union’s second vice president , by just 30 votes.
Outside the FOP lodge Thursday morning, Graham expressed confidence and said he’d received Preib’s endorsement. Neither Preib nor Catanzara responded to messages seeking comment.
The union has been without a contract for more than 2 ½ years. In December, the FOP board voted to put its demand for an 18% pay raise over three years in the hands of an independent arbitrator.
Earlier this week, Catanzara pledged to take an aggressive approach in negotiations with City Hall should he be elected.
Graham’s time in FOP leadership has been hallmarked by his criticism of the Chicago Police Department’s reform efforts and consent decree, which were spurred by the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video and subsequent investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Catanzara was stripped of his police powers and assigned to administrative duty for filing a police report against now-fired police Supt. Eddie Johnson after Johnson marched arm-in-arm with the Rev. Michael Pfleger on the Dan Ryan Expressway.
Three years ago, Catanzara was reprimanded for posting a picture of himself on social media dressed in his police uniform holding an American flag and a homemade sign that read, “I stand for the anthem. I love the American flag. I support my President and the Second Amendment.”
Catanzara was also recommended for firing in 2012 after Independent Police Review Authority investigators determined he had been working security at an Old Town restaurant while he was on medical leave from CPD with a back injury.
The board found him guilty but opted to suspend him for 20 days.