VP Jesse Sharkey Filling in for Lewis
By Jim Vail
The Chicago Teachers Union announced today in an email to its members that VP Jesse Sharkey will assume the role of CTU president while Karen Lewis recovers from surgery after suffering a "serious illness."
|CTU President Karen Lewis|
Lewis undertook weight reduction surgery recently and looks remarkable thin. The risky surgery may have taken a toll on her health, however.
The CTU has not released details about the 'serious illness' she is suffering from, other than to say she is "recovering well."
Lewis led the CTU in an historic strike that catapulted her popularity across the city, and even country, and made her a serious threat to unseating current mayor Rahm Emanuel.
She is currently collecting signed petitions and money to determine if she will officially be a candidate for mayor of Chicago. She leads Emanuel in most popularity polls across the city.
The CTU issued the following letter to its members:
President Karen Lewis is suffering from a serious illness, and out of respect to her wishes, the wishes of her family, and their privacy, we cannot provide additional details at this time.
Karen underwent surgery yesterday and is recovering well. CTU officers and administration have visited and spoken with her, and she is alert and comfortable. She will, however, need time to recover. In that time, I will assume the duties of CTU president according to the rules set forth in the Chicago Teachers Union Constitution and By-laws.
We, as a union, wish President Lewis all the best and pledge all of our support—both in aiding in her recovery and carrying on the work of the CTU, which she cares about so deeply. We urge well-wishers to send cards to the CTU office and we will make sure they are delivered.