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Chicago mayoral race: Lightfoot, García trade barbs on crime, claims about García and ComEd scandal

Chicago mayoral race: Lightfoot, García trade barbs
Chicago mayoral race: Lightfoot, García trade barbs 02:04

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Two of Chicago's mayoral candidates took more verbal swipes at each other on Monday.

As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported, the comments by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and U.S. Rep. Jesus "Chuy" García (D-Illinois) followed a meeting with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board – in which they faced some tough questions.

Those questions put both Lightfoot and García on the defensive, at times, about recent claims and controversies surrounding each of them.

"Do I look like a worried man?" García said. "Of course not."

García bristled, yet was defiant, when talking for the first time about being linked to ex-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and the ComEd scandal.

"I had nothing to do with ComEd, or anyone seeking a position on the ComEd board," García said.

Last week, sources confirmed in several reports that García is the unnamed congressman in the federal ComEd corruption case. Specifically, his name came up in connection with what federal prosecutors allege was a scheme by Madigan to get former Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority CEO Juan Ochoa appointed to the ComEd board.

García says one thing about the claims. Mayor Lightfoot says another.

"Congressman García has to come clean with the voter of the city," said Mayor Lightfoot.

García and Lightfoot both took questions after their meeting with the Tribune Editorial Board. Kozlov asked the mayor about crime – and her campaign's claim in a recent statement that her public safety plan is "reducing violence across the city."

We crunched the numbers and found only shootings and homicides are down year-to-year.

Kozlov: "Can you clarify that statement? Because it is not exactly true.

Lightfoot: "Well, no, I think it is true – very much true. The fact that homicides are down is very much on the mind of people in the city. The fact that shootings are down? Very much on the mind of people in the city. The fact that carjackings are down – you didn't mention that – is very much on the mind of people in the city."

Breaking out carjackings, or vehicular hijackings, from overall robbery numbers, the mayor is right. But our analysis found armed robberies with a gun, and strong arm robberies, are up year-to-year. So are aggravated assaults and criminal sexual assaults.

"The plan is working," Mayor Lightfoot said. "We are making progress."

"The mayor says Chicago has become safer, and that crime is down," said García. "Does anyone in Chicago believe what she says?"

Another mayoral candidate, Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson (D-1st), also took part in the editorial board meeting. He slipped out a side entrance and never took any questions.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct that Juan Ochoa is a former Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority CEO, not a former Cook County commissioner.

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