Daley Sidesteps Controversy With Appointment

Mayor appoints Roberto Maldonado as 26th Ward alderman

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley sidestepped controversy on Monday and named longtime Cook County Commissioner Roberto Maldonado to be the newest member of the City Council.

Maldonado replaces former Alderman Billy Ocasio, who resigned to go to work for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn

Daley faced a tough choice because Ocasio first recommended Rev. Wilfredo De Jesus, who is unpopular in the gay community.  He then recommended his own wife.

A Democrat, the 57-year-old Maldonado has been a county commissioner since 1994. He also is president of a mortgage brokerage firm he founded.

Maldonado said he will work to represent everyone in his ward."

"I have fought hard to bring fairness and equality to all the people of Cook County, regardless of race, sexual orientation, immigration status or income, and I will bring that same passion and progressive thinking to my new role as alderman."

Daley praised Maldonado's experience in the private sector as well as his work as an elected official and as a one-time psychologist working in the Chicago Public Schools.

Maldonado was born in New York and raised in Puerto Rico. He was 27 when he moved to Chicago.  The 26th ward stretches west of downtown.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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