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Chicago Park District pays out almost $2 million to three former lifeguards

September 27, 2023

Documents obtained by WBEZ show Park District officials have quietly settled sexual misconduct cases at the city’s beaches and pools.

The Chicago Park District has quietly paid out more than $1.9 million in legal settlements to three former lifeguards who allegedly suffered from sexual misconduct and hazing by supervisors at public beaches and pools, according to documents obtained by WBEZ.

And that might not be the end of the legal costs from the scandal that WBEZ exposed in 2021, leading to the resignations of park district leaders, criminal charges against two male lifeguards and promises of reform.

A fourth female ex-lifeguard filed a lawsuit earlier this year against the park district, its former CEO Michael Kelly and a Humboldt Park supervisor who was convicted of sex crimes last year. That young woman’s suit is pending in Cook County Circuit Court.

Read more of Dan Mihalopoulos' reporting for WBEZ.

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