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Robert Rose resigns as Cook County Land Bank Authority’s $225K-a-year executive director

The agency, created by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Commissioner Bridget Gainer, has been involved in a number of questionable dealings, the Sun-Times has reported.

Robert Rose is leaving his $225,000-a-year job as executive director of the Cook County Land Bank Authority.
Robert Rose is leaving his $225,000-a-year job as executive director of the Cook County Land Bank Authority.
Rich Hein / Sun-Times file

The head of the Cook County Land Bank Authority, whose dealings have been the subject of a series of reports by the Chicago Sun-Times, has resigned.

Robert Rose Jr. submitted a letter of resignation, dated Monday, saying he plans to leave his $225,000-a-year job as executive director of the county agency at the end of June.

Rose, 50, who isn’t a county employee, has been working under a contract that expired on March 15. He signed a new contract on Friday to extend his employment terms for an additional 106 days. His last day will be June 30, he said in his resignation letter.

“I am transitioning to the private sector to continue supporting community development in Chicago and helping developers find access to capital,” Rose wrote.

Rose, who did not respond to messages seeking comment, has run the county agency since 2015.

Since the land bank, which Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Commissioner Bridget Gainer pushed to create, first began acquiring and selling properties in 2014, it’s been involved in a number of questionable dealings, the Sun-Times has reported. The land bank:

The county plans a “national search” to replace Rose, according to Tarrah Cooper Wright, a private contractor hired to speak on behalf of the county agency.

In a written statement, she also quoted Gainer, who didn’t respond to an interview request, as praising Rose.

Speaking during an appearance Monday at a COVID-19 vaccination site with Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Preckwinkle said Rose “has resigned to pursue other opportunities, and, no, he was not asked to resign.”