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County’s public information officer resigns after several months in new post

Nick Cusick’s short tenure as Cook County’s public information officer has come to an end.

Cusick submitted his resignation to the county and North Shore Health in late June. His last day with both organizations will be July 13.

Cusick was hired in February to be the public information officer, sharing his duties between the county and the local healthcare organization The position was shared and funded equally between the county and the hospital.

The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted 3-1 in February to approve hiring Cusick for the position. Commissioner Stacey Hawkins voted against hiring Cusick for the job, noting the cost to the county as her primary reason of concern.

WTIP spoke with County Administrator James Joerke and North Shore Health Hospital Administrator Kimber Wraalstad about the need for a public information officer on multiple occasions during the months leading up to Cusick’s hire. The necessity for the position, according to both administrators, was largely rooted in the immediate ties to the COVID-19 pandemic as well long-term goals of effectively communicating the work and objectives for each organization with the public.

Cusick is leaving the county and hospital to take a job in marketing with Visit Cook County, the local tourism agency that is funded through lodging tax revenue.