Chicago Car Dealer Targeted by City Inspector after Argument with Mayor Lightfoot
Dealership owner raised concerns over smash-and-grab robberies
A luxury car dealer in Chicago has been hit with a series of city code violation tickets after the co-owner argued with Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot over soaring crime.
Last month, Chicago's Gold Coast Exotic Motors was hit by a brazen smash-and-grab robbery that saw thieves walk away with millions of dollars worth of luxury watches.
Shocking surveillance footage captured the armed smash-and-grab crooks swiping the watches from display units inside the Lamborghini dealership.
Joe Perillo, the co-owner, angrily blames the crime on Democratic bail reforms.
Perillo said he was frustrated by what he sees as "kid gloves" consequences for criminals.
"If they get arrested, they get let go," he told WLS-TV.
"So, how do you intend to ever solve that problem?" Perillo said in a message to Chicago's leadership.
"If they don't do anything about this, they're going to lose a lot of businesses," he told the station.
"They lost Macy's.
"They're losing Neiman Marcus.
"They may lose this store."
CWB Chicago reported that Mayor Lori Lightfoot met with Perillo days later in the showroom on North Rush Street to discuss the costly theft, and two sources familiar with their chat said things deteriorated between them.
One source told the outlet that the notoriously combative mayor “got into a fight and walked out" of the meeting.
The second source confirmed the meeting headed south and added that Lightfoot called Perillo an “idiot” as she departed, CWB Chicago reported.
But Perillo told Fox News he didn't hear Lightfoot call him an "idiot."
"I’m not aware that she called me an idiot … at least she did not say that to me," he noted to the cable network in regard to their meeting.
"In her heart, I believe she is trying her best.
"That said, we are both passionate individuals and have different views of how to deal with theft.
"I can report that there was nothing I said that in any way was foolish.
"I simply wanted to know what her future plans were going forward."
While a mayor’s office spokesperson confirmed that Lightfoot met with Perillo, the official declined to provide details about the conversation, citing privacy expectations, CWB Chicago said.
No more than two days after the reportedly tense meeting, an inspector from the city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection started paying visits to the showroom.
CWB Chicago, citing a Lightfoot spokesperson, said the inspector was following up on an anonymous Dec. 15 complaint about a public health violation at the dealership — and the inspector issued tickets.
For what it's worth, the expensive smash-and-grab took place Dec. 11, and the unfortunate Lightfoot-Perillo meeting happened after that.
The tickets were issued on Dec. 17, CWB Chicago said.
“It was unrelated to the mayor’s meeting with Mr. Perillo,” the spokesperson told the outlet in regard to the handout of tickets.
The outlet said Perillo’s dealership received four tickets for six violations, adding that the inspector allegedly saw three employees and one customer not wearing face masks inside the dealership.
Perillo received a ticket for “storing, receiving, possessing, selling nineteen bottles of liquor. One whiskey, champagnes, wine, etc.," CWB Chicago said, adding that another ticket alleges two violations: Failure to display an incidental consumption liquor license and failure to have a required liquor license.