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Along With Chicago FOP, Alderman Wants To Repeal COVID Vaccine Mandate

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The showdown over Chicago's vaccine mandate shows no signs of slowing down.

There's now a push by some alderman to throw out the entire mandate for all city workers. CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reports this is all happening as two lawsuits make their way through the courts.

On Thursday, a judge ruled that both lawsuits over Mayor Lightfoot's vaccine mandate will be heard by one judge. It comes as a group of aldermen filed an ordinance to repeal that mandate altogether.

"Residents do not want this forced down their throat."

On Thursday, Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd) filed an ordinance to repeal the vaccine mandate and require City Council approval on future mandates that could result in a no-pay status for workers. Tabares explained why she's one of at least 10 City Council members backing the proposal.

"Our first responders have been working throughout this whole pandemic," Tabares said. "And you know a lot of them are my constituents and they deserve our respect."

In response, Lightfoot condemned Alderman Tabares for "carrying the water" for Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara.

"It's foolishness and I'm going to do everything I can to stop it," Lightfoot said.

The city's policy required all city employees to report their vaccination status by October 15 and led to two separate lawsuits between the city and Fraternal Order of Police.

One asked the court to block the vaccine mandate and another filed by the city asking the FOP to stop encouraging its members to ignore the requirement.

A judge ruled on Thursday against the wishes of the police union, that both lawsuits will be heard by one judge. The city's legal department argued that separate cases could result in confusion and the potential for inconsistent rulings.

After the ruling, the judge said he was concerned about the "sensationalism" of this current fight asked both sides to remember that they are all public servants.

"You cannot be in people's homes helping them on the most desperate days. You cannot help them if you are not vaccinated," Lightfoot said. "That's' not right and I think people realize that."

The next hearing on these matters in front of Judge Horan is currently slated for Monday but as we've seen over the past few days there have been almost constant developments so that is subject to change.

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