Alderman Silverstein & the McDonald Hush Money Vote

To hear Alderman Silverstein tell it, she voted for the $5,000,000 hush money settlement in the Laquan McDonald case without knowing anything about it. Her recent newsletter includes her first statement on this matter, and in it she claims that she “…watched in disbelief the video of the shooting death….” She goes on to describe the video “…and what has transpired [as] extremely troubling,” and now says that she believes “…there needs to be a more detailed investigation….”

The alderman’s statement is troubling, too. Known to be one of the Mayor’s staunchest allies on the City Council, she had a near-perfect record of supporting the Mayor during her first term. Last April’s vote was unanimous: 47 aldermen including Silverstein voted to pay five million dollars to McDonald’s family to head off a lawsuit. As more and more investigative reporting clearly shows, every alderman who voted knew exactly what he or she was being asked to do, and did it. Only two aldermen raised questions, and none raised objections.

Asked to vote on a settlement that included a provision to hide the truth of the shooting from the citizens of Chicago, Ald. Silverstein voted to pay the hush money and to suppress the videotape.

It’s unlikely that she had no idea about the truth she’d be helping to hide. Proceedings from the City Council meeting clearly show that City officials feared the release of the tape and/or the filing of the threatened lawsuit. If she truly knew nothing, then how could she in good conscience have voted at all? Was this willful ignorance? Loyalty to Rahm? Business as usual?

Residents of other wards are demanding that their aldermen answer one simple question: What did you know and when did you know it?

Residents of the 50th Ward should ask the same of Ald. Silverstein.

Further reading:
“Inside Rahm Emmanuel’s Vote to Silence Laquan McDonald’s Family” by Michael Daly, The Daily Beast, Dec. 2, 2015

“Where Were You in April, Chicago Aldermen?,” Editorial, Chicago Tribune, Dec. 10, 2015


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