Carrie Austin, indicted Chicago alderman, resigns as chair of Chicago city council committee
A day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked for it, Ald accused. Carrie Austin (34th) resigned Tuesday as chair of the Chicago City Council committee on contract monitoring and fairness.
“I have always tried to be loyal to the mayors I have served, as well as to work to secure resources for my community for the past 28 years,” Austin reportedly said in a written statement minutes before she said. does not chair a subject. hearing on the mayor’s plan to extend Chicago’s construction set-aside program until December 2027 and significantly change its eligibility requirements.
Austin will remain alderman but is largely not expected to stand for re-election in 2023. She could even resign before that date to give her replacement a boost in this election – if she manages to convince the mayor to designate her choice as her replacement.
Earlier this week, Lightfoot left no doubt that she wanted Austin to step down as president before the newly formed committee took a decisive vote on the set-aside program.
âI was very clear from the start of my mandate as mayor. I think it is practically impossible for an alderman to be able to fulfill his responsibilities to his parish and the residents who are in need, especially now, when they have the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. And it’s a federal indictment, âthe mayor said
âI had this conversation with Ald. Austin. I will continue to dialogue with her. But, I think it’s very difficult for her to be able to do her job, just like the others are being indicted. It is an extraordinary thing that we have three city councilors indicted. This is not a good thing for our city.
Lightfoot created the Markets and Oversight Committee – and chose Austin to chair it – to field the 26 votes she needed for her board reorganization.
It came after the mayor dumped Austin as chairman of the powerful city council budget committee and replaced Chicago’s second city councilor with Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), one of Lightfoot’s closest allies.
The outspoken Austin first said she wasn’t interested in a “consolation prize” before accepting it and becoming one of Lightfoot’s most trusted board votes.
Austin has pleaded not guilty to the charges of receiving bribes for home improvement – including new kitchen cabinets and granite countertops – from a developer seeking his help in running a project through the bureaucracy of the town hall. She is also accused of lying to FBI agents who sought to question her about the benefits.
Austin’s indictment was preceded by Ald’s racketeering indictment. Edward Burke (14th) and follow-up to Ald’s bank fraud indictment. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th).
Burke immediately resigned as chairman of the finance committee after the first charges were laid against him. Then-candidate Lightfoot led the charge by demanding his resignation as president and then demanding that Burke resign as alderman.
She has been relatively silent about Austin and Daley Thompson, grandson of one mayor and nephew of another.
It’s unclear who will replace Austin as chairman when the committee finally decides on the six-year extension. The vice president is Ald. David Moore (17th), a political maverick who fought tooth and nail against the mayor over the project to rename Lake Shore Drive in honor of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable.
Moore presided over Tuesday’s hearing after Austin resigned. He identified himself as a replacement Austin, who is “not available at the moment”. No standing committee chair has been announced.
The mayor’s minority procurement plan would also change the eligibility conditions by:
- Allow minority and women-owned businesses to qualify for the program until they reach 150% of the standard size set by the US Small Business Administration.
- Average gross revenue over seven years instead of five years.
- Reduction factors used to calculate personal equity by eliminating illiquid assets which include real estate, retirement savings, and owner’s interest in uncertified businesses.