Illinois mayor’s niece slams him for attending wedding without mask

Illinois mayor's niece slams him for attending wedding without mask

The niece of an Illinois mayor is putting her uncle on blast for attending a large wedding in Florida where he was photographed huddled closely with relatives who weren’t wearing face coverings — just days after floating a potential mask mandate in his city.

Kristin Chirico, co-host of YouTube’s “The Kitchen and Jorn Show” and a former BuzzFeed personality, publicly criticized her uncle, Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico, for attending his daughter’s nuptials in Naples after a photo purportedly from the affair surfaced on Twitter.

“He’s not sorry, and that’s a tremendous insult to you and your families,” Chirico tweeted Sunday to Naperville officials. “He should be held accountable. Demand updates. You belong in this community, too. Your safety matters. YOU matter. I’m rooting for you.”

A day earlier, Chirico said her uncle, his wife and several of their children were at the wedding along with at least 50 guests.

“I actually don’t need to protect these people, because they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong,” Chirico tweeted.

The ceremony came just days after Mayor Chirico proposed Naperville adopt a rule making masks mandatory in all public spaces to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in the Chicago suburb, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Naperville City Council is expected to review the citywide proposal as soon as Dec. 1, the newspaper previously reported.

Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico and his wife
Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico and his wifeFacebook

Chirico, who did not immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday, has defended his decision to go, the newspaper reported.

“My family and I all took COVID tests and tested negative prior to traveling to Florida this weekend for my daughter Jenna’s wedding,” Chirico said in a statement. “It was an outdoor wedding and reception with a total of 53 guests.”

The mayor returned to Naperville on Monday and took part in a City Council budget meeting via Zoom, the Tribune reported, adding that he has declined repeated requests for additional comment.

Chirico said he would quarantine and be re-tested for the virus upon his return, but additional details were not included.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker also chimed in on the controversy Monday, although he didn’t mention Chirico by name during his daily coronavirus briefing, NBC Chicago reported.

“I even saw a story about a mayor here in Illinois who flew to Florida for a wedding, didn’t wear a mask, and the wedding had more than 50 people,” Pritzker told reporters.

Kristin Chirico
Kristin ChiricoGetty Images Rise9 and Mashup LA

Kristin Chirico, who has 93,000 Twitter followers, acknowledged that her public reprimand might upset her relatives, but said the potential public health risk outweighed those concerns.

“And maybe they’ll be mad but also maybe we might save some lives so I’m willing to roll the dice on this,” she tweeted Saturday.