Chicago’s Democratic Treasurer, Melissa Conyears-Ervin, is under fire for allegedly using taxpayer-funded staff for personal tasks, including her daughter’s birthday arrangements and personal security services. Having taken office in May 2019, recent reports from the Chicago Tribune detail accusations of a tainted office environment based on a 2020 letter, now unsealed.
The controversy ignited following the November 2020 dismissal of aides Tiffany Harper and Ashley Evans, which they claim violates state and federal whistleblower laws. They suggest their termination followed warnings from Conyears-Ervin about facing job loss if they didn’t obey her orders.
The unsealed letter describes Conyears-Ervin’s “disturbing conduct,” including allegedly pressuring staff about not worrying over the legality of her orders, indicating the only way they’d be jobless was if she was dismissed. It also claims she employed an ex-Chicago cop as her personal security and driver, raising eyebrows among previous staff members.
Further allegations include hiring political associate Gina Zuccaro as an administrative assistant, who reportedly managed personal errands like event planning and grocery shopping, all on the taxpayer’s dime. The document suggests Conyears-Ervin misused her hiring power for personal and political gains, cultivating systemic issues.
Accusations also hint at city resources being channeled towards religious entities favored by Conyears-Ervin and her spouse. Conyears-Ervin hasn’t addressed the allegations directly at this point.