Preckwinkle Parts Ways with Top Aide After Controversial Social Media Post

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle takes questions from the media after announcing her mayoral campaign on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Chicago Tonight)Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle takes questions from the media after announcing her mayoral campaign on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Chicago Tonight)

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, considered a front-runner in the race for Chicago mayor, has cut ties with Scott Cisek, a longtime political and legislative aide, after Chicago Tonight reported on a controversial Facebook post he made.

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Late Thursday, Preckwinkle issued the following statement:

“As of today, Scott Cisek is no longer affiliated with my campaign in any capacity. His recent social media post was unconscionable and showed insensitivity to the issue of anti-semitism. It does not reflect my values or the values of my campaign. I apologize to Lori Lightfoot and everyone who was offended by this insensitive comment.”

The move follows a firestorm that erupted after Cisek’s Facebook post about mayoral challenger Lori Lightfoot, invoking Nazis and the Nuremberg trials. The post was in response to a Chicago Tribune story that referenced a case in the early 2000s, when Lighftoot was a federal prosecutor. She was reprimanded by Federal Appeals Court Judge Richard Posner and asked to show cause for “why she should not be disciplined for conduct unbecoming a member of the bar of this court.” She was eventually not disciplined because the judge deemed her past record to be “exemplary,” and she was found to have been following the orders of her superiors.

Cisek posted a picture of Nazis at the Nuremberg trials:

Cisek later apologized, called the post stupid and took it down. But not before several mayoral campaigns condemned his actions.

“Politics is a tough business. I know that. But it is disturbing that a candidate's top advisor believes the genocide of millions of people is a casual enough subject to use as a joke to settle a political argument,” she said. “Take note of those that surround the people we expect to lead.”

Cisek held a top role in Preckwinkle’s mayoral campaign, and ran her previous two campaigns for Cook County Board president. He also served under Preckwinkle in Cook County government as director of government and legislative affairs for the Cook County president’s office.

Follow Paris Schutz on Twitter: @paschutz


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Preckwinkle, FBI at Odds Over Campaign Contribution


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