* Shia Kapos this morning…
John Keller, the chief of staff to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, has abruptly resigned “for personal reasons,” according to a memo sent out late by Preckwinkle. The short, foreboding announcement offered no praise or congratulatory farewell to Keller, who had been in the powerful supervisory position since January 2017. Keller oversaw the work of all the offices under Preckwinkle. He also served as a liaison of sorts with elected city, county and state officials. When he was hired, Preckwinkle lavished praise, saying, “I have known John for more than a decade and his breadth of experience equips him well for the chief of staff role. He has a demonstrated ability to work well across the county’s vast landscape of responsibilities.” Deputy Chief of Staff Lanetta Haynes Turner replaces Keller in the interim. His departure comes as Preckwinkle makes plans to announce she’ll run for mayor. That’s supposed to take place Thursday in Hyde Park.
Shia was right to be suspicious. I mean, Preckwinkle’s chief of staff quietly resigns the week she will announce for mayor and he’s not moving over to the campaign, even though he’s been one of Preckwinkle’s go-to campaign guys for years? Odd, to say the least. Stuff like that just doesn’t happen. The rumor mill was blazing hot all day.
* And now we get the explanation via press release…
As President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and as a woman, it is important to me to foster a workplace that is respectful, where all people are treated with dignity. I have always had zero tolerance for inappropriate and disrespectful behavior. On Friday, I became aware of an allegation that my Chief of Staff, John Keller, had engaged in inappropriate behavior on his personal time. The allegation was corroborated. I confronted Mr. Keller; he did not deny the allegation. Yesterday, I demanded and received his immediate resignation.
She shoulda just come clean.
…Adding… I probably don’t have to say this, but anyone who tries to out the victim in comments will be banished for life. Don’t try.
…Adding… Press release…
Toni Preckwinkle to Make Announcement Regarding Mayoral Race
WHAT: Toni Preckwinkle will be holding a press conference to announce her decision regarding the mayoral race.
WHEN: Thursday, September 20 at 3:00 pm
WHERE: Chicago Lake Shore Hotel at 4900 South Lake Shore Drive
“Why did Preckwinkle wait this long to take action?” asked a top Dem political source.
Sneed is told the allegation stemmed from Keller’s time working for the campaign of Marie Newman, who lost a bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., in the March Democratic primary.
The rumors of Keller’s behavior, which involved a woman working on Newman’s campaign, had been floating since then, according to another Dem source.