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Paper trail: Memos show John Stroger's godson got job for ex-con

Monday, December 25, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter

Top aides to former Cook County Board President John Stroger have tried to distance themselves from the 1998 hiring of a 10-time convicted felon, even as prosecutors blamed them for it.
 
But memos obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show it was Stroger's own godson --former Chief of Staff Orlando Jones -- who was behind the hiring of Shirley Glover.
 
Glover is awaiting trial for forgery, fraud, money laundering and other charges. She's accused of stealing more than $180,000 from a county program training low-income people for jobs.
 
Though prosecutors called Glover "inept" and "unqualified" for the job overseeing the program's finances, they said she was hired after Stroger's top advisers "demanded" it.
 
Sources said the memos obtained by the Sun-Times have also been given to the FBI, which is investigating the county's hiring practices.
 
The memos show Jones recommended that Glover be interviewed for a job with the President's Office of Employment Training program.
 
That February 1998 memo identifies her as Shirley McLemore, her former name, and was written to longtime Stroger confidant Al Pritchett, who supervised the training program in 1998.
 
A follow-up memo, initialed by "A.P.," calls for her to be interviewed for the job.
 
$65,000-a-year job
Weeks after Jones pushed her resume through, Glover was hired for the $65,000-a-year job with control over all state and federal funds pouring into the training program.
 
Jones did not return repeated calls about the memos, while Pritchett could not be reached. Pritchett has repeatedly said he had nothing to do with Glover's hiring.
 
But prosecutors said Pritchett and Gerald Nichols, Stroger's patronage chief, got Glover her county job -- even though the program directors didn't want to hire her.
 
County spokeswoman Chinta Strausberg said the memos "do not indicate any illegal activities by our employees." She said the county has new safeguards to ensure someone like Glover isn't hired again.
 
Devine spokesman John Gorman declined to comment on the memos, but said the investigation into Glover is ongoing and "we will follow the evidence wherever it leads us."
 
Since Glover was charged, federal agents raided county offices and asked multiple employees about the role Nichols and others played in hiring in county government.
 
Glover's attorney, Neil Cohen, said prosecutors did not ask Glover about how she was hired, but he declined to comment when asked if federal agents had talked to her.
 
"We'd be more than happy to explain how it was that Shirley was hired," he said of the criminal case against her. "We won't run from that."


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