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Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot, former Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) Executive Director Ron Huberman, and Lightfoot for Chicago Campaign Manager Manny Perez released the following statements today in response to recent reporting about a fire that took place in 2004 when Lightfoot was chief of staff and general counsel of OEMC.

“The portrayal of Lori’s response to the tragic 2004 fire is outrageous,” said former Office of Emergency Management and Communications Executive Director Ron Huberman. “I recall from the moment she became aware there was an allegation of a delayed dispatch that she was immediately focused and thorough in tracking down every detail. In every way, Lori was objective, transparent and compassionate in her follow-up. It was not Lori, but rather the corporation counsel’s office who litigated this case. Lori’s responses and follow-up to this tragic event were exemplary. Throughout her tenure at OEMC Lori was a true leader who inspired those around her.”

“When I was at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications in 2004, there was a terrible tragedy in our city—a fire that took 4 young lives,” said Lightfoot. “It was devastating. We took action to figure out what happened and prevent future tragedy. I directed OEMC personnel to preserve the 911 call tapes, and despite this directive, the tapes were not preserved. There was subsequently an investigation into what happened and what safeguards were necessary to avoid this failure going forward. As mayor, I will work closely with OEMC and other City departments and will create a Mayor’s Office of Public Safety. The 2004 fire was a horrible tragedy. I’ll never forget it, and as mayor, I will work hard every day to make sure our kids, and our entire communities, are safe.”

“It’s despicable that the Preckwinkle campaign is sinking to this level in the final days of the race,” said Lightfoot for Chicago Campaign Manager Manny Perez. “While the Preckwinkle campaign continues to mischaracterize Lori’s record, we’re going to stay focused on mobilizing voters all across the city to fight for the change we need on April 2nd and beyond.”