Mayor Richard Daley on Wednesday said the city's police superintendent abruptly resigned this week in order to pursue other job offers.
Jody Weis' resignation Tuesday - the final day of his contract - came as a surprise to the Daley administration. The mayor had indicated as recently as this week that he wanted Weis to stay on until the end of his term, rather than go through the trouble of hunting for a new superintendent who may only serve until mid-May, when Daley leaves office.
Daley said Weis had been considering whether to stay past his contract for the last couple of weeks.
"He was undecided whether or not he wanted to stay," Daley said. "He had offers coming in, and he just saw fit to do it."
The mayor praised Weis for lowering the city's crime rate, taking the lead in prmoting anti-gun legislation and cleaning up the Chicago Police Department after some high-profile scandals.
"He came in under that cloud," Daley said. "And he did a very, very good job."
Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, who's indicated he would replace Weis once he's in City Hall, had nothing to do with Weis' departure, Daley said. The mayor also said pressure from the police union, which has been sharply critical of Weis' policies, wasn't a factor.
"Morale is good," Daley said. "You know, we're public servants. And you select the job. You don't have to stay on this job. ... There're jobs out there."
Former superintendent Terry Hillard, who served under Daley from 1998 to 2003, is leading the department on an interim basis.