Lightfoot Hammers Emanuel Over CPS Sex-Abuse Scandal

Craig Dellimore
June 05, 2018 - 4:45 pm

Rahm Emanuel, left; Lori Lightfoot (WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore)

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The issue of sexual violence and abuse in the Chicago Public Schools is fueling the latest rhetoric in the race for mayor.

Challenger Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday said incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel should apologize to students and parents for the CPS sex abuse scandal.

Emanuel, in fact, did in a meeting with reporters.

“I’m accountable for me, and I’m also accountable to make sure that we – Janice and I – have a plan in place to comprehensively make sure our kids can go to school safely.”

Emanuel was referring to Janice Jackson, the CPS CEO.

Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor and onetime head of the Chicago Police Board, said the mayor’s comments are not enough.

She said the mayor knew something was wrong when the Chicago Tribune began asking questions months ago.

“Rahm Emanuel and leadership at CPS were on notice that there was a significant problem, and did they immediately go into action to start protecting our children? Did they notify parents?”

The answer, Lightfoot said, is no.

Also Tuesday, CPS leaders say they've launched a review of their policies and procedures, following reports that adults connected to the district have sexually assaulted numerous students. A former federal prosecutor is launching an investigation and will suggest reforms for CPS, Jackson said.

She rankled at criticism from another mayoral candidate, Paul Vallas, who also holds Emanuel accountable. She said she takes accountability for any mistakes.

"Anyone who tries to politicize this -- I have no time for that," Jackson said.