Interim park director chosen in wake of lifeguard scandal

Lifeguard Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The Chicago Park District Board has appointed a longtime mayoral aide as the agency's interim superintendent, following a sexual-harassment scandal.

Board members Wednesday selected Rosa Escareno to take over for Michael Kelly, who was forced out last weekend over his handling of allegations that lifeguards had been harassed.

Mayor Lightfoot appeared to stand by Kelly for months, but this week said she had no choice but to call for his resignation.

She praised the selection of Escareno, who just retired from city government. She was most recently was head of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

“Rosa is the right leader for this moment to bring confidence back into our Park District and to ensure it continues to provide crucial services to our community. As we conduct our search for the next General Superintendent, I look forward to ushering in a new era of accountability in our parks system,” Lightfoot said in a prepared statement.