Updated 08/27/14 – 6:35 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Ald. James Balcer (11th) on Tuesday vehemently denied he was being forced out of his seat on the City Council to make way for a third generation of the Daley family, blaming an ongoing struggle with vertigo and post-traumatic stress disorder.
It has been the first time Balcer has mentioned suffering from PTSD related to his service as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam, but he insisted he’s kept it hidden all these years because of the work he wanted to do on behalf of his fellow veterans.
He reacted strongly to suggestions he was pressured to step aside so Patrick Daley Thompson – the nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and grandson of former Mayor Richard J. Daley – could have a clear shot at the seat.
“Absolutely wrong, and nothing could be further from the truth. I am leaving on my own,” Balcer said. “I chose not to [run for reelection]. It was my call.”