Monday, November 16, 2009

Death of Michael Scott

I was shocked to wake up this morning and learn that Micheal Scott had died. I had been working on trying to get an appointment with him and now that seems so irrelevant. My condolences to his family.

But I'd like to remind you all of something. Several years back when the Dave Matthews Band bus dumped their sludge into the Chicago River, it was as the bus was heading westbound on Kenzie and the camera on the East Bank Club captured the image of the bus.

There is a camera on the southwest side of the building that points out towards Kenzie because of the stairs leading down to the Chicago River. Hopefully that camera plus the one on the storage facility and the cameras on the Apparel Center will shed some more light on what happened.

I have been in that area that time of the night/morning because when my job had problems and I had to work late, I would have to walk past late at night. Even with all the development in the area, it still is a pretty deserted location at night. But at the same time, there are tons of cameras in the area. The Apparel Center guard station has lots of cameras monitoring the site and the dock area too.

I wonder if Michael drowned or was he shot? The river at that point is not that deep. Lots of rocks that built up so that the water is only a couple of feet shallow at that point.



Cops: Preliminary investigation indicates Scott shot himself
November 16, 2009 9:53 AM

A preliminary investigation indicates Michael Scott, president of the Chicago Board of Education, apparently shot himself in the head along the banks of the Chicago River early this morning, sources say.

Scott's family had reported him missing on Sunday. Police used his cell phone to locate his body and his car behind the Chicago Apparel Center at 350 N. Orleans along the north branch of the river, police sources tell the Chicago Tribune.

He apparently fell forward after shooting himself, and the gun was found near the body, the sources say.

While police sources say it appears the gunshot wound was self-inflicted, the Cook County medical examiner's office was still conducting its investigation and hadn't determined how he died.

Scott's family had contacted police Sunday night when he didn't show up after visiting his sister at a South Loop care facility. The relative said he visited his sister regularly on Sundays and described him as a creature of habit. He was last seen about 6 p.m.

Around 3:15 a.m. today, police found Scott's blue Cadillac parked next to a trash bin yards away from where he was discovered along the river, police say. The car was winched onto a tow truck about 6:30 a.m.

Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart said in a statement that Scott recently told her he didn't think he'd be around much longer as board president, and that he viewed his appointment as being an interim one.

Stewart said she last spoke with Scott on Saturday regarding the upcoming school board agenda.

"I found Michael to be someone who worked with the union in a cooperative manner and who was willing to hear the other side of any issue," said Stewart. "I believe he was dedicated to doing what was best for the children in Chicago Public Schools and his death leaves a huge void to fill at a time when the Board desperately needs stability in its leadership."

Tariq Butt, a Chicago school board member who has known Scott for about 20 years, said he was shocked by the news.

"He's been a giant of Chicago civic life for many many years," said Butt. "It is very tragic news."

Rev. Jesse Jackson arrived at the scene about 7:25 a.m.

"I am stunned beyond disbelief," said Jackson, who said that he and Scott go back at least 25 years and praised Scott as a decent man and an excellent negotiator and problem-solver who got along with everyone. "What a Monday morning to wake up to."

"The suddenness of it ... midday has become midnight," he said later. "The sun has been eclipsed."

Scott had been board president for five years until July 2006, when then-board member Rufus Williams was appointed at his recommendation. His reappointment in February came about a month after Ron Huberman replaced former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan, now the U.S. education secretary.

Scott served in public posts under Mayors Jane Byrne, Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer and Daley, who also has appointed him Park District board president and a member on the boards of the RTA and Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.

Representatives of the Chicago Board of Education have not been available for comment so far this morning.

-- Pat Curry, Andrew Wang, Azam Ahmed, and Mark LeBien

1 comment:

Rudy said...

I'm not shocked. Just like Clinton I, this was going to happen sooner or later with Daley II. My hunch is: Scott was going to make tons of money throwing people out of the westside via the Olympics. Instead, the Olympics went to Brazil and Scott couldn't take the loss (financial and mental). :(