Rosa Escareño appears on Chicago Tonight on July 31, 2021. (WTTW News)

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.

The Chicago Park District’s River Park, located in Lincoln Square. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Mauricio Ramirez, previously accused of sexually assaulting an underage lifeguard, has been arrested for a second time in just over a month after media coverage of his initial case led a second victim to come forward, prosecutors said.

Chicago Park District Board President Avis LaVelle addresses the news media about the lifeguard sexual abuse scandal Tuesday, Nov. 2. (Heather Cherone / WTTW)

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.

The Chicago Park District’s River Park, located in Lincoln Square. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

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. 

(WTTW News)

Mauricio Ramirez, 32, was ordered held on $500,000 bail Thursday after he was charged with criminal sexual assault to a victim between the ages of 13-17 and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under 18.

(Chicago Park District)

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.

(WTTW News)

Longtime Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael Kelly’s resignation Saturday amid criticism he’s mishandled a wide-ranging sexual abuse scandal could portend future changes at the city’s sister agency.

(Chicago Park District)
Michael Kelly, the CEO and superintendent of the Chicago Park District has resigned. Kelly tendered his resignation via email to Park District Board President Avis LaVelle, according to a news release issued by the Board of Commissioners Saturday.
Are safety signs enough? Some activists are calling for life rings along the lakefront. (WTTW News)

CEO Mike Kelly’s announcement reverses the city’s longstanding argument that life rings along the waterfront would encourage people to enter the water and put themselves at risk of injury or death — and make the city liable.

Wooded Island’s Japanese Garden, in spring. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

“I know people are upset but you can’t tell me there’s not bad activity there after dark,” Mike Kelly, CEO of the Chicago Park District, said in defense of gates the agency installed that are now at the center of another controversy brewing at Jackson Park.

A rendering of John Ronan Architects’ plan for the Park District’s new headquarters in the Brighton Park neighborhood. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

The Chicago Park District officially broke ground Thursday on the agency’s new $65 million, 58,000-square-foot headquarters in the Brighton Park neighborhood. “This is the wealth-building we talk about,” community leaders said.

Riot Fest is set to return to Douglass Park in September. (Riot Fest / Facebook)

Where some see the return of Riot Fest as a step in the right direction for Chicago’s reopening, others say closing their neighborhood green space for a “riot for rich people” is a “slap in the face” to communities traumatized by COVID-19.

A section of open beach is being added to the protected Montrose Dune Natural Area. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Conservationists are celebrating a big win for wildlife along Chicago’s lakefront, where the expansion of a “treasured” natural area will give more room to some high-profile occupants: a pair of endangered Great Lake piping plovers, Monty and Rose.

Now is not the time for a long stroll or ride along the lakefront, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. (Eric Allix Rogers / Flickr)

Chicago’s mayor says too many people are flouting the governor’s order to stay home and maintain social distance, particularly along the lakefront and at playgrounds. “This situation is deadly serious,” she said Wednesday.

Three original Japanese sliding door paintings from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition were discovered in a Park District storage facility (Photo c/o city of Chicago)

Three original Japanese sliding door paintings from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition were discovered in a Chicago Park District storage facility, the CPD announced Wednesday.

A pension reform bill for Chicago Park District employees awaits Gov. Pat Quinn’s signature. We hear how compromise was reached on the hot button issue. SEIU Local 73 President Christine Boardman joins us.