ROGERS PARK — City Council watchdog Faisal Khan demanded an apology from Ald. Joe Moore Tuesday after the 49th Ward alderman allegedly called Khan's top assistant a "b----."
Kelly Tarrant, Khan's chief of staff, also posted publicly to Facebook demanding an apology from Moore after he allegedly used the term to describe her after a committee meeting Monday at City Hall.
Moore declined to comment, saying in an email, "I graduated high school nearly 40 years ago. No need to relive it."
Tarrant said in a phone interview Tuesday from the Office of the Legislative Inspector General that she and her colleagues had been attending a meeting of the Rules Committee when Moore approached her group and even shook her hand. According to a recording of the encounter provided by Tarrant, Moore then said, "Assassinate any characters ... ?"
"He looked very angry and he walked away," she said.
Khan wasn't at the meeting, but Moore has had a troubled relationship with the watchdog's office.
Last year, Khan claimed Moore violated state ethics laws by paying more than $22,000 in severance to fired employees, including one who claimed the money was in exchange for her not speaking out about political work being done at Moore's office.
Moore later conceded that some campaign work had been done in the ward office, but denied wrongdoing.
"I have done nothing wrong, and have always done my best to serve the 49th Ward and City of Chicago ethically, transparently and responsibly," Moore said at the time.
He later accused Khan's office of a "lack of professionalism" because it didn't give him the chance to respond to the charges before they were made public.
At the end of the committee meeting Monday, Tarrant said, Moore was speaking with her office's attorney when he referred to Tarrant as a "b----." Another aide to Kahn, who wished to remain anonymous because she had been conducting an investigation in the 49th Ward, said in an interview that she heard Moore use the derogatory term to describe Tarrant.
"It’s a shame," Tarrant said. "I don’t know him. I don’t know what he’s going through. I don’t know why he has hatred for someone he doesn’t know personally."
Tarrant said she was going to let it go, but then at the urging of her colleagues decided to publicly ask for an apology, which she posted to her Facebook page.
"You should be ashamed of yourself and I, as do all women in Chicago, expect an apology for that insulting and offensive characterization of me," she wrote.
Khan also issued a statement also asking for an apology from Moore.
"Unfortunately, these comments are not surprising from an individual who unfailingly uses name calling to counter adversity or criticism, or engage in meaningful discourse," Khan said.
Khan said his office "had taken the high road in response to Mr. Moore’s petulant and churlish antics," but Monday's comment to his assistant went too far.
"This time however, he owes Ms. Tarrant an apology," Khan said. "Any person who holds misogynistic views or thinks that this type of language is appropriate to use towards or either in reference to women, has no place being a public official."
Tarrant said when she went home Monday to her three daughters she told them what happened.
"This was a perfect example to let them know that the whole bullying thing exists,” even among adults, she said. "I would have thought by now we would have gotten over that whole thing."
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