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City names firm to investigate lakefront misconduct claims

Announcement follows public outcry about limited city response to complaints from female lakefront staffers of an abusive work environment.

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A snow fence at an Evanston beach.

The City of Evanston late this afternoon announced the hiring of an outside law firm to investigate all matters related to recently reported allegations of misconduct by Evanston lakefront staff.

The firm, Salvatore, Prescott, Porter & Porter, which has an office in Evanston, will investigate the allegations and the steps taken by the City of Evanston in response, and will provide recommendations to the city.

One of the firm’s founders, Julia Porter, resigned as the Illinois legislative inspector general in 2019 and charged that the legislature has denied the inspector general the independence needed to be effective.

The city news release says the firm specializes in employment law and has extensive experience investigating workplace harassment and counseling clients, including government entities, on strategies to combat such issues.

The city says all inquiries and information related to the investigation should be directed to the law firm by calling 312-283-5711 or emailing [email protected] or [email protected]

The announcement comes a day after many speakers during public comment at Monday night’s City Council meeting criticized the city’s response to complaints made a year ago in a petition to city officials by more than 50 lakefront staffers that weren’t publicly revealed until a report by WBEZ radio on July 16.

Related stories

Mayor says he first learned of lakefront abuse reports in June (7/22/21)

City to hire firm to investigate abuse reports at beach (7/19/21)

Special meeting set after report lifeguards were abused (7/16/21)

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