The letter from Joe Ferguson comes as Emanuel is waiting for the Senate to confirm him as the next U.S. Ambassador to Japan
As ex-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel waits for a confirmation vote to be U.S. ambassador to Japan, former city of Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson has cleared Emanuel of wrongdoing in his handling of the Laquan McDonald police shooting.
Emanuel’s return to government has “resurrected questions” about Emanuel’s responsibility for the Chicago Police Department and whether “he engaged in a cover-up,” Ferguson said in a letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. The Chicago Sun-Times obtained a copy of the letter.
Ferguson wrote that while the questions are “appropriate” by those opposing his nomination “they are not fair, because they are not grounded in fact, because the facts simply do not exist.”
“I know, I was the inspector general for the city of Chicago leading the office which investigated the city’s handling of the aftermath of the McDonald murder.”
The Senate panel voted last month to send Emanuel’s nomination to the full Senate. There is no date set for a confirmation for reasons having nothing to do with Emanuel.
The shooting of a Black teen by a white Chicago police officer has been the centerpiece of complaints by Democratic progressives over President Joe Biden tapping Emanuel for an ambassadorship.
During Emanuel’s confirmation hearing, only Sen. Jeff Merkely, D-Ore., grilled the former mayor about the shooting, which is the major stain on Emanuel’s two terms at City Hall.
Ferguson, first appointed in 2009 by former Mayor Richard M. Daley, had at times a frosty relationship with Emanuel — described in one story by City Hall reporters as a “cold war’” between the men.
Ferguson stepped down earlier this year when it was clear that Mayor Lori Lightfoot was not going to reappoint him.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.