‘Robo’ Call From Cop Creates Waves In 32nd Ward Race

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.

  • mike horn

    What is Lynch’s relationship to Moriarity. If Lynch has police in his family is that how the FOP endorsed him. Is that endorsement for sale?

    It is a criminal violation for doing this.

    • S. Holmes

      Lynch is cousin to Moriarty.

  • AA

    This slimebag move is in sharp contrast to the clean, honest approach to government that Scott Waguespack has brought to the 32nd ward. Scott was one of only 5 alderman who opposed the now-infamous parking-meter privatization deal. We need more aldermen like Scott in this city, not more old-school political cronies!

  • steve

    The machine is afraid of Scott Waugespack and will do whatever it can to be rid of him. That’s at least one really good reason to vote for him. Here’s another: He’s done an excellent job as my alderman. He’s help with our rat problem (not caused it, as claimed by one of his competitors), dealt realistically with developers, and been honest with us about what he can and cannot do.

    • 32 neighbor

      Sorry, steve, but where I live in the 32nd Ward, the rat problem is BIG. If you don’t believe me, I wll leave a dead four-pounder I found in my back yard in the alley next to Akira, 1910 W North, so you can check it out. Waguespack has been terrible on constituent services. My wife is tired of calling his ward office and getting the response “just call 311” But I’m glad for you that Scott’s giving you service. I’d be happy to make this election a referendum on how well Waguespack has delivered on constituent service. I think you’d be surprised at the result.

  • Joe Lake
  • read this

    officer moriarty needs to be thoroughly investigated to see if he dis any campaigning while on the city’s dime. it’s rogue cops like him that make people not trust the CPD. Officer Moriarty needs to be suspended…or better yet…TERMINATED!!!

    • Rogue Cop?

      Rogue cop? Wow, talk about hyperbole! You can look that up in a dictionary if you wish. There are far worse acts that a police officer could do than allegedly make a campaign robocall.

      Yes it should be investigated if he did it on company time, but rogue cop? Give me a break!

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