CHICAGO – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said if legislation subjecting local mayors to recall elections passes, he will sign it.
Rauner said, however, that he didn't think it could apply to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The controversy over the city's handling of the investigation of a fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old prompted state Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, to file legislation last month instituting a recall process for Chicago. He has said he would consider expanding it to generally include local municipalities.
Rauner, however, said his legal advisors have told him current mayors could not be subject to the recall, only future office holders.
Under Ford's legislation, two city aldermen could launch the process by signing an affidavit agreeing with a recall petition. Organizers would need to gather 88,000 signatures from registered voters. The measure would require a two-thirds vote in both houses of the General Assembly to reach Rauner. Some believe Emanuel's legislative supporters would never allow the measure to be called for a vote.
Rauner also said during questioning at a public appearance Jan. 4 that he was "very disappointed" in the handling of the case by both Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.
The state's attorney recently filed murder charges against officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot Laquan McDonald 16 times. Dash cam video showed McDonald was shot after he had turned away from officers, contradicting officers' claims that Van Dyke was threatening them as he brandished a knife.
The lengthy investigation over the shooting that occurred in October 2014 and city hall efforts to withhold the dash cam video have drawn continuing protests and calls for both Emanuel and Alvarez to resign.