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Dolton meeting abruptly ends after trustees hire Lightfoot to investigate mayor

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(The Center Square) – Dolton, Illinois, Mayor Tiffany Henyard was escorted out of Monday’s board meeting after former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke out about investigating the village’s finances.

Several weeks ago, Henyard vetoed a measure that village trustees approved to hire Lightfoot for $400 an hour to investigate how taxpayer money may be being abused.

During public comment at Monday’s village meeting, a resident said Henyard won’t care about the concerns of lack of transparency until “they put those cuffs” on her.

“It’s coming and they taking their time because they’re gonna make sure that all those counts, they gonna have a bunch of counts on you and your administration,” the resident predicted.

The FBI is investigating financial impropriety, according to Trustee Jason House.

“It was stated previously that there was an investigation done into what happened in Vegas, basically,” House said in response to a question of why hire Lightfoot if the FBI is investigating.

Henyard has been under the spotlight after documents showed questionable spending on a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. WGN reported last month subpoenas revealed Henyard and her allies are the focus of the FBI.

“So that investigation has not been shared with the board and the board has made several inquiries, so that’s one part of it,” House said before trustees overrode Henyard’s veto to hire Lightfoot to also investigate.

After the vote, Henyard attempted to call for an adjournment motion, but nobody provided a second to that motion. Instead, trustees motioned to suspend the rules, with chants of “let her speak” erupting in the chamber.

With a mic handed to her, Lightfoot declared she will bring transparency.

“Even though you turn the mics off, we will continue working on behalf of the residents of Dolton and we will give you the facts that you deserve,” Lightfoot said.

Henyard criticized the move and said there’s already an investigation into her administration underway.

“Why we pay anybody any money if you all have the actual people, meaning the FBI is here,” she said. “So why would we waste money?”

Henyard then abruptly ended the meeting and was escorted out of the chamber while police cleared the room.

Illinois’ state budget that the General Assembly approved last week has the village of Dolton is in line to receive $1 million from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for “operating expenses … including prior year’s costs.” A budget line for $5 million will go to Dolton from state taxpayer funds for capital improvements. Hundreds of thousands of more state tax dollars will go to Dolton area parks and schools for various projects.

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