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CeaseFire interim director named after leader’s arrest, ouster

Anti-violence group CeaseFire Illinois has named an interim director as it searches for a permanent replacement for Tio Hardiman, who was removed following his arrest for alleged domestic battery last weekend.

Cure Violence, the parent organization of the anti-violence group CeaseFire — affiliated with the University of Illinois at Chicago — announced Hardiman’s ouster Monday.

The organization’s current COO, Dr. Candice Kane, will oversee CeaseFire Illinois’ day-to-day operations as its interim head, while continuing to manage Cure Violence’s national and international operations, spokesman Josh Gryniewicz said on Tuesday.

Jalon Arthur, Cure Violence’s national director of training and technical assistance, will also fulfill some of the duties Hardiman leaves behind, working with community partners at CeaseFire’s 14 Chicago sites.

“We just looked at it as essentially far too much work for one person to do,” said Gryniewicz.

“Obviously when you’re hit with a crisis of this caliber there’s a lot of restructuring that needs to happen and a lot of maneuvering,” he said.

CeaseFire holds a one-year, $1 million contract with the city to mediate gang disputes in the Lawndale and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

Its founder, Dr. Gary Slutkin, praised the group’s success in curbing violence in the first half of 2013 in the press release announcing Kane’s appointment.

“It is vitally important that we keep up the momentum of these critical efforts and the appointment of Dr. Kane will ensure we maintain consistency in our program implementation,” Slutkin said in the release.

Kane has managed violence prevention programs Cure Violence for 10 years, also sits on the steering committee for the Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council.

She was previously part of a University of Chicago team that developed a model for dealing with gang-affiliated youth and their families, known now as the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Comprehensive Gang Model.

A search is under way to find a permanent replacement for Hardiman, who appeared in court Tuesday for a hearing in his domestic battery case.

Hardiman was arrested Friday at his home in west suburban Hillside, accused of punching and kicking his 47-year-old wife. Authorities said Hardiman was convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery in 1999.

The former director created the group’s violence interrupter initiative, using ex-offenders to mediate disputes in high-crime neighborhoods. The strategy received international attention after it was featured in the award-winning 2011 documentary “The Interrupters.”

Hardiman maintains that he is not guilty of the charges against him, but he said Monday he apologizes for any “negative attention” brought to the organization.



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