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Behavior At Forest Preserve Pool Infuriates Officials

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Arnold Randall

Cook County Forest Preserve General Supt. Arnold Randall details some of the inappopriate behavior that has gone on at the Cermak Family Aquatic Center in Lyons. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 04/04/11 11:45 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – New safety and conduct rules are in place at Cook County Forest Preserve District pools Monday morning.

Officials say they were prompted by inappropriate behavior at the Cermak Family Aquatic Center in Lyons last summer.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports

The behavior included theft, and worse.

“The supervisor of that facility was also providing alcohol to minors. There were several employees who engaged in inappropriate behavior; sexual acts at the pool as well, in the supervisor’s office,” said Forest Preserve General Supt. Arnold Randall. “None of this happened on the pool deck, but any one of those items are unacceptable. All of them together are outrageous.”

The Cermak workers involved were fired, and several supervisors were suspended.

Now, more security cameras are being added at Forest Preserve aquatic centers, and new employee training will include instruction on ethics.

When Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle took over five months ago, she promised to rid county government of waste, corruption and efficiency. In the wake of the new allegations at the Cermak pool, she was asked if the situation at the county was worse than she thought it would be.

“I didn’t expect to get reports from the office of inspector general every week, and that’s sort of the way it’s been,” she said. “So the short answer is, yes.”

Preckwinkle has set out to change the culture of the county, where, many would argue corruption and incompetence have been tolerated, if not rewarded.

“Culturally, what has been going on for a long time is people have not managed well,” she said.

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