Evanston Parks director steps down after Michigan appointment

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EVANSTON, IL – Parks and Recreation Director Lawrence Hemingway has withdrawn from the race for a job in Michigan amid scrutiny of his case in Evanston. Hemingway was appointed on August 4 to become the director of parks for Oakland County, pending a background check and final approval from county commissioners, The Oakland Press reported.

At a special meeting Wednesday, the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission was due to review the approval of the background check, President Gary McGillivray informed fellow commissioners that Hemingway had canceled his request the day before, according to the ‘Oakland Press.

Hemingway did not respond to a request for comment on Friday about the reasons for his withdrawal.

The park manager told The Oakland Press he believed his department “made the best decisions with the information it had” after receiving a petition from dozens of women describing a culture of sexism and widespread harassment.

GovHR USA, the Northbrook-based executive search firm co-founded by a former human resources director at Evanston, led the research that identified Hemingway, according to the newspaper.

Prior to taking the position at Evanston in 2016, Hemingway had worked as Director of Parks and Recreation for Wayne County Parks in Westland, Michigan, and was General Manager of the City of Detroit Recreation Department.

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