Some hope new female interim CEO can disband ‘old boys club’ at Chicago Park District

Some hope new female interim CEO can disband ‘old boys club’ at Chicago Park District
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Some entities closely working with the Chicago Park District over the years said the recent change at the top is a good thing.

Mike Kelly's resignation as park district CEO and president could not have come fast enough for Juanita Irizarry, executive director of Friends of the Parks.

"The reality of our interactions with Mike Kelly have been mostly difficult. We have often found him to struggle with the truth," Irizarry told WBBM Newsradio.

Kelly, 50, came under fire for his handling of a growing number of alleged sexual harassment and abuse claims of lifeguards at the city’s pools and beaches.

Irizarry said the park district's new interim CEO, Rosa Escareno, and her decadeslong track record in city leadership roles provides optimism toward a new more collaborative and less misogynistic relationship with the Park District.

"And besides the fact that I hear that she's honest and competent, I do think the fact that she's a woman is important in this particular scenario," Irizarry said.