Just 10 days shy of the March primary, former Ald. Robert Fioretti bagged endorsements Saturday from the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police and other law enforcement unions in his bid to unseat Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
During a low-key announcement at the Billy Goat Tavern on Madison Street, Fioretti said the endorsement signifies that “people who believe in law and order” want change.
“For me to win the FOP’s endorsement is an acknowledgement that something is wrong with our system,” Fioretti said. “To have the sergeants and to have the other organizations that have endorsed me sends a message to those that have been complicit with a system that has let down our communities.”
Kevin Graham, president of the rank-and-file officers’ union, said Preckwinkle’s comments about Chicago Police “shooting people with impunity” swayed him to endorse Fioretti. Graham also cited Fioretti’s stance on changes to the cash bond system.
In December, just three months after the changes to cash bond went into effect, the Office of the Chief Judge reported that cash bond was assigned in only 20 percent of cases. In January, it was reported that the jail’s population dropped by 15 percent.
“People who have made legitimate mistakes but are non-violent people, I understand those people should have low bonds,” Graham said. “The way it seems now is that it’s just a revolving door and we have to have more control over who’s going to the jail and who’s not — we can’t just open the doors and throw everybody out.”