Influential Chicago Alderman Dick Mell is retiring after nearly 40 years.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday that he has accepted the 74-year-old Mell's resignation and that it takes effect on July 24. Emanuel calls Mell "a larger than life Chicago character."
Mell is the father of state Rep. Deborah Mell and the father-in-law of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving a federal prison term on a corruption conviction. Mell helped Blagojevich get elected to Congress in 1996, but the two later had a falling out.
Emanuel says he will launch an open process to select Mell's replacement on the city's North Side. The mayor says interested ward residents can apply starting Friday, and he hopes to have a replacement by the July 24 Chicago City Council meeting.