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Lightfoot attacks McDonald's CEO as Illinois' former wealthiest man confirms his claims with personal stories

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PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Citadel CEO Ken Griffin revealed this week multiple colleagues became victims of the violent crime that plagues the Windy City, helping spur his departure from the city.

Ironically, Griffin's comments came one day before Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) condemned McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski for raising concern about the impact crime is having on Chicago's business climate.

What did Griffin say?

Griffin captured headlines in June after announcing he was moving his hedge fund, which manages more than $50 billion in assets, from Chicago to sunny Miami. Griffin himself is worth roughly $30 billion and was previously Illinois' wealthiest resident.

While it was rumored that Griffin left Chicago because of crime — in fact, just last year, he compared Chicago to Afghanistan "on a good day" — he told Bloomberg in an interview this week two specific stories underscoring the personal impact of the city's crime.

From Bloomberg:

He recall[ed] two stories about Chicago, which he sees devolving into anarchy: One of his senior colleagues was robbed after a person put “a gun to his head” as he was on a coffee run, and another was waiting for a car when confronted by “some random lunatic just trying to punch him in the head.”

Citadel's move is a significant economic boon for Miami.

Not only will Griffin pour money into the local community via his philanthropic efforts, but Citadel is making a significant investment by building a business complex in the city's downtown area. Construction is expected to cost $1 billion.

What did Lightfoot say?

Last week, Kempczinski said Chicago, where McDonald's is headquartered, is experiencing a "crisis."

"Everywhere I go, I’m confronted by the same question. 'What’s going on in Chicago?' There is a general sense out there that our city is in crisis," he said, noting that crime is driving businesses away from Chicago.

Lightfoot was asked about those comments at a press conference this week. She responded by attacking Kempczinski.

"What would have been helpful is for the McDonald’s CEO to educate himself before he spoke," she said, the Chicago Tribune reported.

But Kempczinski is right. Not only has Citadel recently left Chicago, but so have Caterpillar and Boeing. Each of those companies left for states controlled by Republican governors.

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