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Government

DuPage County forest preserve director steps down after only 15 months

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County Executive Director Michael Hullihan is resigning after less than 15 months on the job and only three months after receiving a new one-year contract.
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County Executive Director Michael Hullihan is resigning after less than 15 months on the job and only three months after receiving a new one-year contract.

For the third time since 2012, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is looking for a new top executive.

The district confirmed the Nov. 16 resignation of Executive Director Michael Hullihan after less than 15 months on the job and only three months after receiving a new one-year contract, according to a news release.

"The Board of Commissioners wishes Mike Hullihan the best in his career and thanks him for his service to the organization,” district President Joe Cantore said.

Cantore also appointed Director of Business Enterprises Ed Stevenson to take over as acting director.

Cantore acknowledged the district's new efficiencies in financial management and operations in recent years. He insisted residents and patrons can be "assured that nature-related amenities and services will remain uninterrupted in DuPage forest preserves," the release stated.

Hullihan took over in July 2015 after an extensive search following years of turmoil at the top of the district, starting with the retirement of then-director Brent Manning in June 2012.

The board hired Arnie Biondo, the executive director of the Carol Stream Park District, in December 2013, but he took an early retirement after being allegedly forced out in August of the next year.

Two weeks later, the board hired John Lapinski, a DuPage court administrator. He was then re-hired in September after a resident raised concerns about the transparency of the first affirmative vote.

But stability still didn't come to the position, as the board had to take yet another vote on his hire, pushing his start date back from October to December – but by November, Lapinski said health problems would prevent him from taking the job, leading to Hullihan's opportunity the next year.

Hullihan will remain on staff through Feb. 13, 2017.

The release from the district stated Stevenson is the longest-tenured director at the forest preserve.

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