Rosa Escareño planned to retire in July as commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection after 30 years with the city, but agreed to lead the beleaguered park district after the scandal erupted.
Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners
The Chicago Park District board of commissioners has elected Myetie Hamilton, a member of the board since September 2021, as the body’s new president, filling a vacancy left by the resignation of Avis LaVelle, who stepped down in November.
If confirmed by the Chicago City Council, Andrea Telli would be the first person to join the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners after a scandal ousted the district’s top leadership.
The Park District board OK’d a $600,000 budget for the new Office of Prevention and Accountability, which is being established to prevent misconduct and hold wrongdoers accountable. Commissioners questioned whether the amount dedicated to the new office was adequate enough for the task at hand.
Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners President Avis LaVelle said Wednesday she was not forced to resign by Mayor Lori Lightfoot for her handling of complaints that girls and young women were being abused while working at Chicago’s parks.
Three of the four lifeguards accused of wrongdoing resigned as a result of the investigation, while Chicago Park District Interim Inspector General Alison Perona recommended the fourth be terminated in connection with the allegations.
A search for a new leader of the Chicago Park District to usher into “a new era of accountability in our parks system” is underway, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.