Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.

Commissioners: Who's running county?

Thursday, May 04, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter

Threats of a strike by Cook County nurses and fears of a multimillion-dollar budget shortfall have county commissioners asking a simple question:

Who's in charge?

Seven weeks after County Board President John Stroger was hospitalized with a stroke, his top aide insists Stroger's still running things -- even saying Stroger is making decisions about county government operations.

That flies in the face of earlier comments from Stroger's own family, who have said they aren't discussing county business with him.

And because chief of staff James Whigham won't say what decisions Stroger is making and refused to answer further questions about it, even many Stroger allies say they don't believe it's happening.

And it also has many researching the state statutes that cover county governments -- including the notation that if a board president has an "inability to act," then the county board can replace him.

"But there hasn't been a test of 'ability' ever used in American politics," said UIC professor and former Ald. Dick Simpson. "Someone could enter an order that the seat is vacated, but that would be a very unpopular thing to do. No one's running to do that."

Wednesday's county board meeting marked the first time that anyone has publicly dared to wonder about the impact Stroger's health is having on county operations.

Commissioner Forrest Claypool -- who lost the Democratic primary to Stroger -- raised the question, but was cut off by President Pro-Tempore Joseph M. Moreno.

Commissioners, staff clash

"There's not a single person in this room who doesn't want to see President Stroger sitting back at that desk," Claypool said. "But the truth is, we haven't heard from him in months and we don't know . . . who's running this government."

Last month, Whigham insisted he is in charge of day-to-day operations, but that offended some, including Commissioner Bobbie Steele, who said "I'd suggest that staff be careful in making decisions we were elected to make."

Claypool asked if "unelected bureaucrats are making critical, important decisions that should be made by elected officials," but Whigham said "the county is being run, as always, by the president."

"No one has declared [Stroger] incapable," Moreno said.

But last week, Ald. Todd Stroger said his father is learning to talk again in what he expected to be a long recovery.

Todd Stroger couldn't be reached Wednesday.

Simpson said Stroger's situation is different from when Mayor Richard J. Daley suffered a stroke in 1974 -- as Daley's aides made it immediately clear the boss would be back.

"The most obvious way for commissioners to do something -- if no one from the family or administration steps forward," he said, "is for the commissioners to declare the seat vacant by means of ability."

Recent Headlines

Cook County Land Bank Authority Announces Opening of Registration to Give Away a Free Home
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The Chicago Crusader

Friday, August 09, 2019
Illinois Policy

Top Cook County Jail chess players take on the world
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Public defender takes shots at Chicago Police gun offender webpage
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Commentary: Data alone won’t stop Chicago gun violence; Cook County needs a public ‘Violence Reduction Dashboard’
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Jail detainees take on inmates around the world in online chess tournament
Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Ongoing Bail Debate In Chicago
Monday, August 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Jail hosts international chess tournament
Monday, August 05, 2019
WGN Chicago

Cook County property taxes are due today, Aug. 1.
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Special to

Forest Preserves of Cook County Celebrate Dan Ryan Woods Investments
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Defender

Cook County TIFs generate $1.2 billion
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Changes coming to Cook County assessor’s office
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

In Chicago, TIF Revenues Soaring
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A controversial tax subsidy program will generate a record $1.2 billion in revenue. Here’s what the number means for Chicago.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Group to rally in support of Kim Foxx as challengers emerge
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Report: Incarceration Rates Drop Nearly 20% Under Kim Foxx
Monday, July 29, 2019
WTTW Chicago

Lightfoot blames bond court reform for gun violence
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Chicago Reporter

Cook County Health Hires Audit Firm To Review Scathing Inspector General Report
Thursday, July 25, 2019

Former County Commissioner Shocked Animal Abuser Registry He Worked To Create Was Never Used
Thursday, July 25, 2019
CBS Chicago

No one on County Board sharing Arroyo’s view of inspector general
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.