Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot accused Uber of attempting to pay off black pastors to oppose her plan to regulate rideshare companies, including Uber.
"They offered up black ministers $54 million in a one-time deal if they would convince the mayor to do away with any kind of regulation," Lightfoot said to stunned reporters on Wednesday.
"As we walked these ministers through the realities of what is actually at stake here they realized they, quite frankly, they've been hooked-winked," she added later in the briefing, according to ABC 7-Chicago.
She added to her claims that several black ministers had told her about the payoff, and that she was willing to provide names to the media.
Lightfoot claimed that her aim was to ease congestion by forcing those "opting for the luxury of riding alone downtown" to pay an extra tax.
She also mocked a counter-proposal by Uber, calling it "complete nonsense."
Uber said in a statement that Lightfoot was misrepresenting their proposal to the city.
"The Mayor is entitled to her own opinion, but not her own facts. Weeks ago, we shared a proposal that would have raised $54 million more for the city — she is confusing this figure," their statement read.
Uber spokesperson Josh Gold reiterated the statement in a response on Twitter.
"This is categorically false," Gold tweeted. "@chicagomayor is confusing the $54M in revenue that one of our proposals would have raised for her own budget."
"We worked on that idea over the course of months of mtgs w/city - it's more progressive and would raise more funding for city," he added.
He posted a partial screenshot of the proposal to prove his contention.
The Chicago City Council will vote on the matter on November 27.
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