Jim Gardiner, alderman of Chicago's 45th Ward, apologized during the Sept. 14 Chicago City Council meeting for his "offensive words" but said he "never acted on any of those rants" in which he appeared to call for ward services to be withheld from political opponents, The Chicago Tribune reported.
FBI agents recently spoke to a variety of individuals with knowledge of Gardiner's conduct, and approached Gardiner himself last week, sources said.
After asking Mayor Lori Lightfoot for permission to speak, Gardiner read from a statement: "I would like to address the request for me to make a public statement regarding text messages from 2019 that were released to the media over the past few weeks. I stand before this body to offer my sincerest apologies over the pain and insult that anyone has endured as a result. I take full responsibility for my offensive words in those messages."
According to Politico, the Northwest Side alderman was addressing leaked texts in which he used vulgar and derogatory language (the "b" and "c" words) in referring to gay Ald. Tom Tunney; Anne Emerson, Ald. Scott Waguespack's chief of staff; and Joanna Klonsky, the mayor's political adviser.
Gardiner also met separately with Emerson and Klonsky, who issued a statement after the meeting, saying they "acknowledge" his apology.
Windy City Times reached out to Tunney's office for a response. According to Tunney's office, "Ald. Tunney hasn't made any comments other than Ald Gardiner reached out to apologize and he accepted his apology."