Calumet City mayor casts tie-breaking vote on disputed charges



Past disputed charges from Calumet City Mayor Thaddeus Jones’ municipal credit card in addition to new line items received narrow approval Thursday from the City Council, despite continued concerns from some aldermen.

Jones last month promised to repay the city for some of the $13,000 in scrutinized expenses aldermen questioned, though he did not specify which expenses or explain the hotel stays, Uber rides and meals.

Ald. James Patton and Ald. Michael Navarrete said some of the disputed expenses remained on an omnibus $1.2 million bill approved Thursday.

“I think it’s shameful,” Patton said after the vote, declining additional comment. Patton has announced he is running for mayor in 2025.

Line items approved, according to the city’s agenda packet, include three payments to the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans of $930 each made last November that Patton said should not have been paid by the city. He also questioned numerous smaller charges, such as $410 spent at Chicago Cut Steakhouse and $200 spent at Hooters within a four-day period in January.

Also approved were more recent charges of $7,300 to Foot Locker and $5,200 to Spencer Leak and Sons Funeral Homes that Patton said warranted more explanation from the mayor’s office. Jones’ spokesman did not immediately respond to the Daily Southtown’s requests for comment.

Ald. Anthony Smith and Ald. Ramonde Williams voted in favor of paying the expenses, Ald. DeAndre Tillman voted present and Ald. DeJuan Gardner and Ald. Monet Wilson left the meeting before the vote occurred. With a 2-2 tie, Jones cast the tie-breaking vote.

Due to aldermen’s concerns over the mayor’s spending, the City Council plans to vote on an ordinance later this month that aldermen said will protect city dollars from being used for public officials’ personal expenses. Patton and Navarrete said they both support that ordinance.

“I think it’s something that’s needed,” Navarrete said. “It’s unfortunate that it’s needed, really tired of us having to take time to pass all this legislation to safeguard against things that are common sense, but it’s where we’re at.”

ostevens@chicagotribune.com



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