Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a statement Wednesday night saying the city had dropped its lawsuit at her discretion following an increase in compliance among Chicago police officers with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
A day after he announced his intention to leave the department, John Catanzara — the first-term president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 — posted a picture of his personnel action request on his Facebook page, which shows that he has indeed retired from the CPD.
The stunning announcement comes after John Catanzara, the head of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, spent hours testifying at his own termination hearing Monday.
“It is not surprising to me that he did not want to face accountability for his own conduct,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
The Chicago Police Board on Monday will hold the first in a series of hearings that could lead to the termination of police officer and union head John Catanzara for defying the department’s brass and ignoring its rules.
A Cook County judge won’t throw out Chicago’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate entirely, but in a ruling Monday he has put a hold on a Dec. 31 deadline for members of the Chicago Police Department to get fully vaccinated.
Cook County Judge Cecilia Horan on Monday evening denied a request seeking to extend a temporary restraining order against John Catanzara, who had repeatedly urged Fraternal Order of Police members not to give their vaccination status to Chicago officials.
Authored by Alds. Silvana Tabares (23rd Ward) and Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward), the measure to give alderpeople the final say over whether employees could be disciplined for flouting the vaccine mandate was sent to the legislative purgatory of the City Council’s Rules Committee.
Fraternal Order of Police attorneys argued Cook County Judge Cecilia Horan should step aside because she didn’t disclose that a law firm she previously worked at was involved with the Police Accountability Task Force, which was chaired by Lori Lightfoot prior to her election as Chicago mayor.
According to Police Superintendent David Brown, about 67% of officers have provided their vaccination status to the city, and of those 82% are vaccinated. But 21 officers have refused to share their vaccination status with the city.
More than 35.6% of the Chicago Police department — 4,543 employees — are in jeopardy of being disciplined and eventually fired for failing to disclose their vaccination status to the city.
A Cook County judge ordered Police Union President John Catanzara on Friday to stop making public statements on social media or in the media that encourage police officers not to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate until a hearing Oct. 25.
Police and other first responders — who come in close physical contact with Chicagoans — must be vaccinated to protect the health and safety of Chicagoans, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara's actions and rhetoric "threatens the health and safety of Chicago’s residents and first responders," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
In a video posted online Tuesday, Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara vowed to take Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration to court if it tries to enforce a mandate, which requires city workers to report their vaccine status by the end of the work week.
Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez said those staffers who are not fully vaccinated by Friday’s deadline must consent to weekly testing, but will not be immediately barred from working, as had previously been threatened.