City Sticker Runner-Up Doesn’t Want Design Used Amid Controversy

CHICAGO (STMW) — Another Chicago city sticker bites the dust.

Resurrection High School senior Caitlin Henehan, who won the city’s annual vehicle sticker design contest by default last week after Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza pulled the winning design because of concerns about gang symbols, has requested that her sticker not be used in the face of “unwanted media and public scrutiny and criticism of her artwork that soon followed,” Mendoza said in a statement Saturday.

“While our daughter truly enjoyed participating in the design contest and was proud to see Chicago select her as the first runner up, what should have been a happy accomplishment in her life has now turned sour,” Caitlin’s parents, Marty and Maria Henehan, said in a statement issued by Mendoza’s office.

The Henehans could not be reached for comment, but in the statement they said they had met with Mendoza about the matter.

Kristine Williams, Mendoza’s spokeswoman, said the family was reacting to anonymous criticism online about Caitlin’s colorful design, which showed Chicago’s first responders as caped superheroes flying beyond the city skyline.

Last week, Mendoza pulled the design of the original winner, 15-year-old Lawrence Hall Youth Services student Herbie Pulgar, saying Pulgar’s heart and hands design could be “misconstrued as containing gang symbols.”

Pulgar and his mother tearfully denied that the design was anything other than the young man using his artistic talent to try to improve his life.

Mendoza also admitted that tears had been shed in the clerk’s office over the decision and that she would personally give Pulgar $1,000, the amount of the savings bond for the contest winner.

The sticker will now be designed in-house, a process that won’t delay the printing and distribution of the stickers, Williams said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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