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Equality Illinois Parts Ways With Co-Founder Garcia

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 17, 2010 10:10PM

2010_12_17_rick_garcia.jpg Huge, positively shocking news from the LGBT desk today. Equality Illinois cut ties with its longtime director of public policy and co-founder, Rick Garcia. Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov confirmed the announcement to Windy City Times, after a meeting today with Equality Illinois stakeholders the night before.

Cherkasov informed Garcia of the announcement yesterday, before the two were to host a forum on civil unions at the Center on Halsted. Instead, the forum was paneled by Equality board member Kevin Hauswirth and development associate Kevin Mork, and Lambda Legal community educator Simon Aronoff.

Garcia showed up at Equality Illinois' offices this morning to continue work, but was removed from the premises by police, according to Garcia likened the situation to "something out of a Fellini movie."

Several Equality Illinois board members, who spoke on condition of anonymity to, were said to have been taken by surprise at Garcia's firing. One said that removing Garcia was "the dumbest thing we could do." As for Garcia, who's earned a reputation as a tough policy expert who can scrap with the meanest Chicago politicians, he said he is weighing his legal options at this time