CHICAGO — The mayor-elect’s incoming Chief of Staff is a familiar face with a background in public safety in Chicago.
Rich Guidice, the former Head of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, announced his retirement after the incoming Chicago mayor Brandon Johnson was elected following the April 4 runoff election.
“It was not a part of the plan,” Guidice said. “I fully planned on retiring, but I’m truly excited about the opportunity to continue to do what I do.”
Guidice didn’t say if he voted for Johnson, but he will become the Mayor-elect’s Chief of Staff.
“I’ve had conversations with the mayor I feel were very passionate and sincere and I feel he is open to conversation in my opinion on public safety and relationships and how to make relationships better within public safety and also to entrust CPD to do the job they’re supposed to do.”
Dr. Cristina Pacione-Zayas will also act as First Deputy Chief of Staff to the Johnson administration. She has been an Illinois State Senator since 2020.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity,” Pacinone-Zayas said.
“The mayor-elect said he is going to be the mayor for all of Chicago and I think by bringing Rich (Guidice) and myself on it demonstrates his ability to understand that we have complimentary skills and we also have what I call receipts. We deliver for Chicago, we are Chicago kids, and while we do that in very different ways, those ways an be incredibly complementary and competent.”
Pacinone-Zayas also said she watched Guidice’s tactical skills and compassion in 2017 when she worked with the Puerto Rican Agenda and watched as he worked on setting up the city’s resource center for people fleeing Hurricane Maria.
Guidice said he’s also looking forward to addressing the concerns on the CTA.