CHICAGO (CBS) — You’ve probably gotten one of these calls at home, a taped political message left on your answering machine or voicemail.
But one from a self-described Chicago cop is now raising some eyebrows and questions in Chicago’s 32nd Ward, which is on the Near North and West Side.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov listened in and talked to the message’s intended target, incumbent Scott Waguespack.
The so-called “robo” message begins with a man identifying himself as an officer, James Moriarity, expressing concern about crime in the ward.
“Ald. Scott Waguespack has not made public safety a priority in the 32nd Ward,” the message says.
The call ends with a political plug for Waguespack opponent Bryan Lynch.
Lynch’s campaign paid for the call. He wouldn’t talk with CBS.
Waguespack had plenty to say, though.
“Why is a police officer injecting himself into this issue, in this campaign, at such a late date and using fear tactics to literally scare people?” he said.
Some ward residents agree. But there may be even bigger concerns – such as, is Officer James Moriarty actually a Chicago police officer?
If he is, a police board rule prohibits officers from participating in any partisan political campaign or activity.
In a statement, Lynch said he asked Officer Moriarty to make the call on his behalf. A police department spokesperson says Rule 42 prohibits political activity on-duty but adds the call is being investigated.
As for the crux of the call – concerns about crime — the ward is in four Chicago police districts. Looking at the statistics, crime in some areas has gone up since last year. But most crimes have gone down.