Chicago’s top lawyer, Mark Flessner, resigns amid uproar over Anjanette Young raid, video

Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s top lawyer, Mark Flessner, has resigned over the Anjanette Young raid.

Flessner announced his resignation in an email to employees on Sunday afternoon.

“I’m resigning because of the firestorm around the whole tape thing,” Flessner told the Tribune in a brief interview. “I’m being accused of trying to hide it, which is not true.”

He did not say whether he had been asked to resign. Flessner served Lightfoot as corporation counsel for the city. A former federal prosecutor and partner at Holland and Knight, Flessner is also a longtime friend of Lightfoot.

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The controversy erupted earlier this month, after Lightfoot’s Law Department attempted to block WBBM-Ch. 2 from airing body camera footage of Chicago police officers mistakenly raiding Young’s home in February 2019, before the mayor took office.

Lightfoot’s office also disclosed that it failed to give Young’s attorney all of the body camera footage of the wrongful police raid on her home, a recurring problem for the city’s Law Department.

City lawyers also filed a request to have Young sanctioned for allegedly violating a confidentiality order on the video, though the city later said it only wanted her lawyer sanctioned, before filing paperwork on Friday seeking to drop the matter altogether.

A federal judge rejected the Lightfoot administration’s unusual request to prevent a television station from airing a news report. The courts long have ruled against efforts to prevent news companies from publishing reports, saying it’s an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment.

Lightfoot has criticized the Law Department for taking the action and denied knowing about it beforehand.

The Young raid has become a major embarrassment for Lightfoot, who initially said that she had only learned of the incident after CBS-Ch. 2 aired police body camera footage that showed Young, who was handcuffed naked, repeatedly telling officers who barged into her home that they had the wrong place.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.