Journalist William J. Kelly has filed a federal lawsuit against Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the city’s Police Superintendent David Brown after his press credentials were revoked. He alleges that the officials have conspired to violate his rights protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
Kelly told Fox News that Lightfoot and Brown retaliated against him “for the most cynical and contemptible reason that can be imagined.” He said he was punished for daring to ask them questions about their failures in office to carry out their duties.
His lawsuit alleges that Lightfoot “desperately wants to prevent anyone from questioning her” regarding job performance as she is running for re-election and is shielding her “dismal performance” from public view.
Chicago reporter sues Mayor Lori Lightfoot as city pulls his press credentials following combative exchanges
"They have done this for most cynical & contemptible reason that can be imagined, to prevent Lightfoot from being questioned https://t.co/mw5T0NkTYR
— Roxie🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@roxie32819) September 8, 2022
Kelly alleges that Lightfoot specifically instructed Brown to revoke his press credentials in order to prevent him from being granted access to any of the mayor’s press appearances. She is allegedly acting to prevent Kelly from asking her “hard and embarrassing questions about her obvious failure as mayor.”
As a result of Lightfoot’s instruction, Kelly claims that Brown obtained a false report from a police officer that Kelly “bumped into him on July 19, 2022.” The lawsuit alleges that Brown used that false report to revoke Kelly’s press credentials. Kelly claims that the bumping incident was totally fabricated and he has video evidence to back up his assertion.
The complaint argues that the acts of the public officials is “blatantly unconstitutional” in that particular outlets or journalists cannot be excluded from the same access granted to other media or the public.
It also argues that Kelly was deprived of a right without due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Kelly also alleges that the fabricated bumping event is claimed to have occurred just one day after he asked questions of Lightfoot about her “taxpayer-funded business trip with donors” to Paris amid uncontrolled crime ravaging Chicago.
Kelly’s lawsuit describes an event in April at which he asked Lightfoot how she could consider running for reelection after “all the harm” she has caused. He says that her hatred for him became “unhinged” on that day, and she had a “complete melt-down” upon getting into her car, “screaming, yelling, and kicking with rage.”
Kelly told Fox News that Lightfoot “doesn’t think she should be answerable to anyone.”