Mayor Richard Daley acknowledged on Saturday that his office had contact with Chicago School Board President Michael Scott just hours before his suicide, even setting up a meeting with Scott on the day his body was found -- but called a story in the Sun-Times about it "totally irresponsible."
The mayor's angry rebuff of the Sun-Times story was the first time Daley admitted that one of his top aides, Jacquelyn Heard, had contacted Scott about an investigation into Scott's use of a CPS-issued credit card, the Tribune reported.
"I think it's totally irresponsible, in the Sun-Times, a phony headline," Daley said. "To, in some way, relate a conversation between anyone in my staff, and Michael Scott -- to, in some way, conjecture ... that this conversation had anything to do with his suicide? I feel sorry for them. I guess they need a totally irresponsible headline."
Daley not only disparaged the paper for the story, he went on to clearly say the phone call and meeting "had nothing to do" with Scott's death.
"If you could predict why someone committed suicide, you'd be the greatest psychiatrist in the world," he said. "It had nothing to do with Michael Scott's suicide."
Daley said the credit card investigation "wasn't much," and if Scott had been untruthful about his use of it, he would have been accountable.
When Scott killed himself, investigators from the CPS Inspector General's office were just beginning their probe into the credit card, but that was just the latest in a string of trouble he faced, according to the Sun-Times. On separate issues, he'd testified before a grand jury in a criminal investigation, was criticized by newspapers over a proposed land development plan, and lost a consulting gig.