Chicago Park CEO Mike Kelley resigns on the same day that Mayor Lori Lightfoot publicly demands his expulsion

Chicago Park CEO Mike Kelley resigned on Saturday. It’s been over a year since he was first reportedly aware of widespread allegations of sexual abuse among lifeguards who came to dominate the city’s institutions.

In a text to Tribune, Kelly forwarded the resignation he sent to Park District Council President Avis Ravel on Saturday, stating that his resignation “has come into effect immediately.”

“I’m honored to be in control of this extraordinary organization over the last decade,” he writes. “It’s also an honor to serve Chicago citizens as a civil servant for the past 27 years. I have always been in the best interests of my patrons and employees.”

Kelly resigned the same day, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a statement calling for his immediate dismissal after a meeting of the Emergency Chicago Park District Committee on Friday. In that undisclosed session, Lightfoot urged Kelly to be expelled, she said.

“The culture of sexual abuse, harassment, and coercion prevailing within the district’s aquarium lifeguard program under his leadership is the urgency or accountability of the supervisor when new facts are revealed. Coupled with the lack, it is unacceptable, “writes Wrightfoot. Saturday. “Therefore, my estimate is that it’s time to take on new leadership soon.”

During a meeting of the Park District Board on Friday, an hour-long private presentation by an outside lawyer focused on “various employment and personnel issues” ended without any action. Board Chairman La Velle did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

“Michael Kelly has resigned as General Manager and CEO of the Chicago Park District,” Park District spokeswoman Michele Lemons said in a short statement on Saturday.

Kelly, Appointment Permanently led the agency during the first scandal by former Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2011 report By WBEZ in April. Victim suspects described the abusive culture among urban pool and beach workers, including retaliation for reporting sexual assault and abuse of minors.

WBEZ reported that Kelly was informed of the first allegations in early February 2020, but did not forward the complaint to the Inspector General until mid-March of that year. Recently, several city council members, and ultimately Lightfoot, have called for resignation due to lack of action against disturbing claims.

Sign up for The Spin to deliver top political stories to your inbox on weekday afternoons.

Complaints of retaliation surrounding illegal activities are as high as the guard dog offices in the Chicago Park area. In August, Nathan Kipp, Deputy Inspector of the agency, said Said He was put on an indefinite suspension, which he speculated was “he was enthusiastically pursuing this investigation.” He especially criticized Kelly, who opened a new conservation office, for “opaque” reform. “

Since the investigation into sexual misconduct in the park area began, authorities have Rebuke Kelly announced more than 40 employees of the beach and pool unit for sexual harassment in August. This includes nine workers allegedly involved in sexual misconduct and abuse there, and two senior management positions.

Two employees were dismissed and six resigned, while others were subject to written disciplinary action or suspension. Recently, the boss was suspended because the investigation included screenshots of text explaining “inappropriate communication” and “suffocation in a sexual way” between the boss and a former minor employee. And resigned on Monday.

Also this week, Cook County lawyer Kim Foxx publicly raised her investigation into a park district scandal. call For the victim to reach out to her office.

Correction: Earlier versions of this story misunderstood the number of months Mike Kelley first learned of allegations of sexual misconduct in the park district. It was 20 months.

[email protected]