Media Release: Alderman Sigcho-Lopez Calls for 25th Ward Permit, License Review in the Wake of Former Alderman’s Abuse of Power
CHICAGO— During today’s City Council meeting, Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez introduced a resolution to audit all permit and license requests in the 25th Ward.
The resolution comes in response to the ward’s former alderman’s unchecked pattern of patronage especially in regard to licensing and zoning. The review would include all requests submitted prior to May 20, 2019 and those currently in committee.
As detailed in the resolution, there has been a lack of “transparency and accountability, specifically by way of preferential treatment” during the former alderman’s 23-year tenure, which left some “significantly advantaged...while disadvantaging others thus compromising equitable economic development.”
“After just a few weeks in office, it’s clear to me that due process for approvals did not exist,” said Sigcho-Lopez, a member of the zoning committee that his predecessor chaired for 10 years. “While the former alderman disappeared from his role in January when reports detailed his abuse of powers, permits and licenses were approved and signed in the former alderman’s name by proxy of unauthorized persons.
The resolution details the unique needs of the 25th Ward’s existing license and permit requests and adds urgency to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Executive Order No. 2019-2 that the process of granting permits and licenses ought to be “based solely on the public interest, in accordance with clear, consistently-enforced standards”.
The alderman and his staff will work closely with the mayor’s office to establish more exacting approval guidelines within the next 100 days so that the license and permit requests in the ward can be properly vetted with community input.