Wait, WHAT? Ethics Observations On The Story Beneath This Headline: “Lawsuit: Mayor Lightfoot Berated Ex-City Officials Over Dick Size”

The 21st Century is just not turning out the way I expected at all.

The details of the underlying controversy can be read here, if you dare. What interests me is this part:

The suit was filed by former Chicago Park District deputy general counsel George Smyrniotis against the city and Lightfoot….The lawsuit alleges that when Lightfoot heard of the plan, she said she would cancel the parade’s permit, and she ordered an immediate Zoom call.

On that call, Smyrniotis says that Lightfoot “proceeded to berate and defame” the lawyers and questioned their credentials.

Lightfoot told them “not to do a [fucking] thing with that statute without my approval.”

“Get that [fucking] statue back before noon tomorrow or I am going to have you fired,” Lightfoot also said, according to the suit.

She is also accused of making obscene comments to Smyrniotis and King.

“You make some kind of secret agreement with Italians. … You are out there stroking your dicks over the Columbus statue, I am trying to keep Chicago police officers from being shot and you are trying to get them shot,” Lightfoot allegedly said. “My dick is bigger than yours and the Italians, I have the biggest dick in Chicago.”

Smyrniotis says the comments defamed him by claiming he couldn’t do his job.

Well all righty then!

Observations:

  • The lawsuit is frivolous. Smyrniotis is a lawyer and should know that. This is an abuse of process, and potentially worthy of professional discipline. Insults are not defamatory. Opinions about “dick” size are not defamatory. The lawyers who claim to have been defamed are trying to embarrass the Mayor, who does a good job embarrassing herself on a regular basis, and needs no assistance.
  • Similar language coming from a male politician would be considered unremarkable. The episode is sexist, absolutely.
  • This is not to say that Lightfoot’s language is civil, professional or excusable. It isn’t. It’s bullying and disrespectful, not to mention ridiculous.
  • What people say in meetings that are supposed to be private should not be made public. Publicizing rhetoric uttered in a heated exchange is far more unethical than the terms of the exchange itself.

______________________

Pointer: Steve-O-in NJ.

3 thoughts on “Wait, WHAT? Ethics Observations On The Story Beneath This Headline: “Lawsuit: Mayor Lightfoot Berated Ex-City Officials Over Dick Size”

  1. While I understand the idea that statements in private meetings should stay private, what to do with someone who abuses this principle by consistently being a jerk behind closed doors?

  2. Two things. I submit to you that these days, a male politician who talked like this, especially a Republican, and especially if he did it in mixed company, would be done. Secondly, after Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Democratic party outed Trump’s statements during a closed-door meeting in which he described certain countries as “shitholes,” they said a president whereby anyone who says anything outrageous during a closed-door meeting risks what they said becoming public knowledge.

    This isn’t the first or even the second time that Mayor Beetlejuice has acted like this. I don’t know how she got this far without being either fired or having the tobacco juice beaten out of her. Then again, I don’t know how Al Franken got as far as he did without being beaten up and left in a ditch somewhere to think “maybe I should stop acting like a horse’s ass.” The best bet at this point is for someone even nastier but more effective to run and knock her out and send her to the stake and fire where she belongs.

  3. On point 1, I may be giving them too much credit, but the lawsuit may be their way to air the dirty laundry of the meeting and give the Italian American organization extra ammo for their lawsuit.

    On point 4, IANAL, but this being a city government meeting muddies the water about if it should be private or not. Many states have “open meetings” laws to make government meetings public information.

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