Joliet hires D’Arcy campaign aide as city spokesperson

DiBenedetto has continued to work for D’Arcy since the April 2023 election

Joliet Mayor Terry D’Arcy was in attendance for the Joliet Township meeting at Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park theater on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023 in Joliet.

Joliet has hired Mayor Terry D’Arcy’s personal public relations representative as the city’s new spokesperson.

The city announced on Monday that Rosamaria DiBenedetto has been hired as the city’s communications director.

DiBenedetto worked for D’Arcy in his 2023 campaign for mayor and continued to represent the mayor since the election. Media calls to D’Arcy typically are screened by DiBenedetto who also joins the mayor when he is interviewed.

City Manager Beth Beatty in a news release announcing the hire said DiBenedetto was the best qualified among candidates for the job.

“We interviewed every candidate that applied and met the minimum qualifications, but Rosemaria had the most experience in local government operations and public relations experience,” Beatty said in the release.

“Rosemaria has been advising municipal leaders and involved in local governments for over 35 years,” Beatty said. “The city needs a strong voice to serve as the city’s spokesperson while working with myself, the mayor, city council, department heads and others to handle the influx of media requests while promoting the good work we are doing on behalf of the residents.”

DiBenedetto’s work at city hall since D’Arcy took office in May has included a relationship with Beatty.

When Beatty became city manager in December, DiBenedetto scheduled interviews with the media and sat in, occasionally advising Beatty, as interviews were conducted. At times, media calls to Beatty were referred to to DiBenedetto before the city manager would comment.

Joliet’s new City Manager Beth Beatty speaker with Herald-News reporter Bob Okon on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024 in Joliet.

DiBenedetto will be paid a salary of $159,900.

On Monday, DiBenedetto said she has not received any payment from the city for her past work representing D’Arcy and Beatty.

“I’ve never been paid by the city of Joliet,” DiBenedetto said. “Mayor D’Arcy and I worked it out. Mayor D’Arcy was paying me personally.”

DiBenedetto, however, has been in effect a part-time communications director before she got the job.

Two weeks ago, the city issued a news release on the Illinois Department of Transportation’s plans for the Ruby Street bridge downtown. DiBenedetto was listed as the contact person in the news release.

DiBenedetto said she issued the news release at the request of D’Arcy.

The city said DiBenedetto has a background in government operations, crisis management, media training, public affairs, and administrative services.

She has a master’s degree in public and social administration with an emphasis in local government from Brunel University of West London in the United Kingdom and a bachelor’s degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.