The chair of the City Council committee responsible for overseeing the city’s information technology infrastructure dropped his demand for public hearings into the theft of thousands of emails sent by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her team.
Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th Ward) said Wednesday he would schedule closed-door briefings for the members of the Economic, Capital and Technology Development Committee about the theft of emails that were sent to the law firm probing the February 2019 raid that left a Chicago woman handcuffed and naked as well as the city’s handling of the raid’s aftermath.
“We don’t want to provide a road map” for others who seek to obtain the city’s data, Villegas said, citing “the sensitive nature of the subject matter and the possibility of exposure to cyber attacks.”
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) objected to the call for private briefings, saying Chicago’s taxpayers deserve to know what steps are being taken to protect the city’s sensitive data and operations.
Even though Villegas promised to hold public hearings if there is information that can be shared with the public after the briefings, Lopez cast the only vote against the nonbinding resolution.
City officials acknowledged in a statement released May 7 that emails sent or received by four former city employees over a two-year period had been stolen. No city computers or computer systems were compromised, officials said.
Lightfoot and her staff have declined to answer questions about the content of the stolen emails, saying that would encourage future criminal activity.