Joe Perillo’s business was targeted by smash-and-grab perpetrators, who stole millions of dollars worth of merchandise from his Gold Coast Exotic Motor Cars store. During a meeting with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the mayor reportedly called Perillo an “idiot,” though he didn’t hear the insult.
Days later, Perillo’s business was cited by Chicago officials for various violations, including employees and a customer not wearing face masks, for “storing, receiving, possessing, selling nineteen bottles of liquor,” and for apparently “interfering with or obstructing the commissioner’s designee in the performance of duties,” CWB Chicago reported.
“t’s almost cliché. If a business owner angers Chicago City Hall, they can expect to be visited by one of the city’s enthusiastic ticket-writing ordinance enforcers. But that doesn’t really happen … Right?” the outlet opined.
Two men destroyed a display case in Perillo’s business and stole eight luxury watches worth more than $1 million. Perillo then went on local and national TV to demand the city address the wave of smash-and-grab crimes.
“It’s only a fool who keeps doing things the same way and expects different results. If the Mayor and Kim Foxx don’t do anything to get control of this, it’s not going to get better. It’s going to get worse,” Perillo told CBS2
In another interview, he said: “If they don’t do anything about this, they’re going to lose a lot of businesses. They lost Macy’s. They’re losing Neiman Marcus. They may lose this store.”
Lightfoot went to Perillo’s showroom to meet with the business owner but the conversation reportedly did not go well. One source told CWB Chicago that the mayor called Perillo an “idiot” as she left the showroom. The mayor’s office wouldn’t provide details on the conversation.
“The Mayor routinely meets with victims of crime and reached out to Mr. Perillo which resulted in a meeting. The Mayor offered to work with him to address safety and security matters at any of his dealership locations,” a spokesperson told CWB.
Perillo told Fox News that he did not hear the mayor call him an “idiot.”
“I’m not aware that she called me an idiot… at least she did not say that to me,” Perillo told the outlet. “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!”
Just a day or two after the meeting between Lightfoot and Perillo, a city inspector from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection cited Gold Coast for health violations. Lightfoot’s spokesperson told CWB Chicago that the citations were “unrelated to the mayor’s meeting with Mr. Perillo.” The spokesperson said the citations came from an anonymous complaint against the business received on December 15.