Less than 24 hours after Chicago Police Board President Lori Lightfoot resigned to set up a widely expected announcement that she will run for mayor in 2019, Mayor Rahm Emanuel named her replacement.
Chicago Police Board Vice President Ghian Foreman will take Lightfoot’s place. He has served on the board since 2010, is the executive director of the Greater Southwest Development Corp., and was also former managing partner of the real estate firm Maktub Development, which “focused on inner city development.” He now plays a similar role as managing partner of Washington Park Development Group.
“Ghian Foreman has deep roots in Chicago and has served the Chicago Police Board with distinction and dedication,” Emanuel said in a statement. “I am confident he will lead the board forward responsibly and in the best interest of all Chicagoans, and I thank him for his service to our great city.”
Foreman thanked Emanuel for having confidence in him. According to economic disclosure forms filed with the city, Foreman owns three firms that has done business with the city and serves on the boards of the Southwest Organizing Project, artist Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation and the Chicago Rehab Network.
“As the department continues down the road of reform, I am proud to serve our great city by leading the Chicago Police Board forward and helping to strengthen accountability and build bonds of trust between officers and residents in every community,” Foreman said.
Emanuel nominated Paula Wolff, the director of the Illinois Justice Project, to fill the seat let vacant on the board by Foreman’s promotion. Her appointment must be approved by the City Council. Emanuel also tapped Wolff to lead the committee to find the new head of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. The three-member committee selected Sydney Roberts, who won City Council approval late last month.
“If confirmed, I look forward to serving every resident of Chicago and continuing to strengthen the bonds of trust between communities and the officers sworn to protect them,” Wolff said. “While the Chicago Police Department continues to make important reforms, I look forward to engaging with Chicagoans in every community and doing my part to contribute to a safer and stronger city.”
At the top of the Police Board’s agenda is the fate of Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo, who fired the shots that killed Quintonio LeGrier, 19, and bystander Bettie Jones, 55, in 2015.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson overruled a determination by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability that Rialmo acted without justification and should be fired.
Johnson ruled the shooting was justified because LeGrier was carrying a baseball bat and posed a threat to the officers. Jones was standing behind LeGrier when she was shot and killed.
After Chicago Police Board member Eva-Dina Delgado overturned Johnson’s decision, Rialmo’s fate now rests with the entire board.