If you work for the government, it's probably not a good idea to let a stripper perform on the premises. And if you let a stripper perform on the premises, it's probably best you don't have a camera around. That's the lesson learned by a veteran Southside park supervisor, who recently lost his job over just such a flap.
Larry Baldwin, 55, has worked for the Chicago Park District for 25 years. On Friday he says he was fired for letting a male stripper perform at a private party at Wentworth Gardens Park, reports the Sun-Times.
Baldwin was terminated when pictures of the nude dancer, taken by the park's attendant, surfaced.
The veteran district supervisor maintains his innocence. He says he was busy putting out other fires during the party and had no idea that a male stripper was at the January 8 dance in the park’s field house.
"I was fired because the people who gave the party had a male stripper I knew nothing about," Baldwin told the Sun-Times.
Baldwin says he was trying to throw out some men he found gambling in the bathroom. When the gamblers threatened to vandalize his car, says Baldwin, he ran out to make sure it wasn’t damaged.
When he returned that’s when Baldwin says he saw the man dancing in a g-string. He then put a stop to the party.
As for the stripBaldwin says he was set-up by the attendant who became angry when Baldwin reported him for not properly cleaning the field house.
When asked if the attendant also faced disciplinary actions, spokesperson Jessica Maxey-Faulker replied "A park supervisor is ultimately responsible for events that happen in their park."
Faulkner did not comment on the Baldwin’s firing.
"For me to lose my job and nobody else loses their job -- for them to just say, 'You're the supervisor. We have pictures [the attendant] took,' a party participant who happens to be a park employee -- it's almost like they bargained with her at her hearing to get rid of me," Baldwin said.
Wentworth Gardens Park doesn’t have security and Baldwin says he did contact them to let them know about the event, but nobody ever showed up.
There are rules in place to determine which events require hiring private security. Maxey-Faulkner says its up to the park supervisor to make sure the renter provides it.