Police interviewed a “person of interest” this week following accusations of sexual misconduct by an older employee against an underage lifeguard at Humboldt Park.
Original investigative reporting, exclusives and analyses from WBEZ
Rosa Escareno, who served under three mayors, takes over as the agency’s interim leader. It’s still grappling with widespread allegations of sexual misconduct among lifeguards.
“We know that sexual abuse is endemic at the park district and to fully remove it, we need to go through and clean up the whole system at the park district,” said Ald. Scott Waguespack.
Longtime parks CEO Michael Kelly quit hours after Mayor Lori Lightfoot pushed for his firing.
The city’s parks board met with an outside lawyer for hours behind closed doors. But the board ended up taking no action against their CEO.
Why Michael Kelly’s contract makes it difficult for the Park District to oust him over lifeguard abuse scandal
Under one scenario, the embattled CEO could get $154,000 in taxpayer-funded severance pay.
Amid fallout from sex abuse allegations, park district officials will pay $425 an hour to a former prosecutor for help with reforms.
Four people are now known to have stepped down following accusations of sexual misconduct as an investigation into abuse among lifeguards continues.
Fifty-six young women complained of sexual misconduct in 2020. Officials now say they didn’t give them “the prompt compassion and respect you deserve.”
The Cook County state’s attorney put a similar call out in 2019 to ask women abused by singer R. Kelly to call her office directly.