As the Chicago mayoral campaign winds down, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will return to the airwaves with a fresh attack ad.
Preckwinkle has not run any tv ads for nearly two weeks, but she's coming back on the air in a big way, attacking how her opponent Lori Lightfoot handled a fatal fire while she was at the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
Questions about that West Side blaze re-surfaced earlier this week. In the 2004 fire, four children were killed while Lightfoot was the chief of staff and general counsel for OEMC.
She was in charge of oversight in an internal review of possible mistakes by the 911 call takers in response to the fire. In a civil lawsuit, Lightfoot was accused by the family’s attorney of being extremely evasive during a depostion, and of changing her account about the documents tied to the case.
The new Preckwinkle ad continues that line of questioning, saying that Lightfoot "allegedly lied, and became extremely evasive" and said that "a judge called her actions 'shocking and very, very troubling.'”
Lightfoot responded forcefully to questions about how her office handled the fire.
“I gave an order to preserve those records and unfortunately they were written over, that should never have happened,” she said.
Lightfoot also called the ad an attempt by the Preckwinkle campaign to "distort what happened.
"The fact that President Preckwinkle is using the tragedy of four children killed as a political prop is offensive," she said.
The question will likely come up again on Wednesday as the candidates meet in their last televised debate, with Election Day looming on April 2.