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Ald. Jim Gardiner Apologizes For Series Of Offensive Texts About Women, Fellow Alderman

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Facing withering criticism for a series of offensive texts about women and his colleagues, Ald. Jim Gardiner on Friday called to apologize to at least one of his targets, Ald. Scott Waguespack, sources told CBS 2.

Waguespack (32nd) said Gardiner (45th) needs to apologize to all the people involved.

In some of the texts, which were obtained by the CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov, Gardiner refers to women as "bitch" and used that word to describe a fellow alderman.

In one text, after Gardiner is informed Waguespack was attending an event, Gardiner replied, "Nice. Is his bitch with him? White girl w blonde dirty hair?" It was unclear who Gardiner was referring to in that exchange.

In another text, Gardiner refers to Ald. Tom Tunney as a "bitch" and a "f---ing snake" after Tunney showed up for a meeting, which Gardiner did not expect. The text ends with Gardiner saying, "F--k him."

Tunney's chief of staff, Bennet Lawson, said Friday that "alderman Gardiner called alderman Tunney, who accepted his apology."

In yet another exchange, Gardiner refers to a local political communications director as a "dumb bitch."

Joanna Klonsky, that communications director, released the following statement:

Ald. Gardiner has a disturbing habit of degrading women. In my experience, this pattern is often a red flag for other abusive behavior. An apology won't cut it at this point. The alderman needs to seek counseling to understand the impacts of his misogynistic behavior, clean up his act, and make amends.

And Friday everning, Gardiner released his own statement:

I am sorry for my comments; they do not reflect my values. I have reached out to my colleagues and others to express my sincere regrets. I respect all people and apologize to those I may have offended.

The texts were first made public by the The People's Fabric blog.

A spokesperson for Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the mayor called Gardiner to discuss the texts.

"While the Alderman did not acknowledge that he wrote these texts, the mayor urged him to apologize to those involved as soon as possible," according to an emailed statement. "The words attributed to him are personally offensive to the mayor and any woman who reads them."


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