Judicial Watch filed a motion on Nov. 23 on behalf of The Daily Caller News Foundation and reporter Thomas Catenacci, asking the court to depose Chicago Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot to discuss her allegedly racist interview policy under oath.
Lightfoot failed to comply with court-ordered deposition in August after a representative refused to answer a series of questions of the Democratâ€™s policy to interview journalists of color, according to the Judicial Watch press release.
â€œDefendant Lori Lightfoot breached her obligationâ€¦to designate a person or persons to testify on her behalf concerning topics authorized by the Court,â€ the motion stated. â€œFrom the earliest moments of the deposition, it was clear that Mayor Lightfoot failed to produce a witness who could testify to the factual issues raised in her motion to dismiss and within the scope of the Courtâ€™s order.â€
â€œSpecifically, Kathleen LeFurgy, Mayor Lightfootâ€™s designee â€¦ was grossly ill prepared to testify as Mayor Lightfootâ€™s designee,â€ the motion said.
Judicial Watch filed an additional motion on Nov. 23, ordering the Mayorâ€™s office to answer a list of 19 questions under oath along with follow-up questions LeFurgy failed to answer.
â€œBased on the court proceedings to date it sure seems like Mayor Lightfoot is trying to dodge responsibility for her racist policy,â€ Daily Caller News Foundation President Neil Patel said in the press release. â€œWe hope the court does not let this happen.â€
Lightfoot announced On May 18, 2021, that her office would only accept interview requests from â€œblack or brown journalists,â€Â accordingÂ to a letter from the mayorâ€™s office.
â€œTestimony in this lawsuit confirms Mayor Lightfoot is responsible for her racist interview policy and is, therefore, a necessary witness in this civil rights lawsuit,â€ Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said.
Judicial Watch filed aÂ lawsuitÂ againstÂ LightfootÂ on behalf of the DCNF and Catenacci on May 27 after Catenacci was denied anÂ interviewÂ based on his race. TheÂ lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, alleges that Lightfootâ€™s refusal violates the DCNF and Catenacciâ€™s First Amendment right as well as the reporterâ€™s right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.
â€œItâ€™s high time Mayor Lightfoot answered directly for denying my interview request. The Mayor must be held responsible for her blatantly racist policies,â€ Catenacci said.
Catenacci intended to interview Lightfoot on topics such as COVID-19 policies and Chicagoâ€™s vaccine distribution efforts.
Lightfoot declined Catenacciâ€™s request â€œby failing to respond in a timely mannerâ€ and added that she was aware that Catenacci is â€œnot a journalist of color,â€ the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
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