Two Steps Forward

In the wake of controversy over the city's lagging health initiatives, the family of a lead-poisoned child wins a settlement and the city's health director steps down

A recent item by St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Jerry Berger suggested that Fields' resignation came one day after a tense meeting with the mayor, who had been "stung by recent criticism of the snail's pace of several widely publicized mayoral health care initiatives." Fields denies that the mayor expressed any disappointment with the progress of the lead initiative -- to him. As for the item in the Post, he says: "What can I say about Berger's column?

"It was my choice, my decision completely," Fields says. "I made a decision, prepared a letter of resignation and presented it to the mayor."

Dr. Larry Fields: "It was my choice, my decision completely."
Jennifer Silverberg
Dr. Larry Fields: "It was my choice, my decision completely."

Chuck Miller, spokesman for the mayor's office, says a meeting between Harmon and Fields did take place the day before Fields publicly announced his resignation, but he says it wasn't tense: "The resignation wasn't triggered by any disappointment the mayor had with anything going on in (the Health Department). I think it's fair to say the mayor was concerned there wasn't enough focus on ConnectCare. Dr. Fields has a lot of responsibilities, and the mayor was very interested in ConnectCare's longevity."

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