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Preckwinkle fired Board of Ethics chief amid Berrios investigation

Toni Preckwinkle misrepresented her record on ethics reform at a candidate forum at the DuSable Museum, after independent reform candidate Lori Lightfoot criticized Preckwinkle’s 2013 firing of Cook County Board of Ethics Executive Director MaryNic Foster in the midst of Foster’s investigation into then-Assessor Joe Berrios’ violation of County nepotism rules.

Preckwinkle responded by denying the firing altogether, saying “it’s just blatantly untrue that we fired anybody in ethics.”

Lightfoot criticized Preckwinkle’s dodge.

“Toni Preckwinkle fired MaryNic Foster to protect Joe Berrios. After MaryNic Foster issued warnings about hiring relatives, sought to fine Berrios for violating nepotism rules, recommended firing Berrios’ family members, and fought Toni Preckwinkle’s attempts to limit the board’s independence, Toni Preckwinkle fired MaryNic Foster to weaken the Board of Ethics,” said Lightfoot. “We are in the midst of a massive corruption crisis in Chicago that demands leaders with integrity. Toni Preckwinkle’s poor track record proves she cannot lead us through it.”