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Prosecutors’ pay raises come partly from tax settlement

Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Daily Herald
by Rob Olmstead

Among the funds that allowed Cook County Board President Todd Stroger to grant state’s attorneys a promised pay increase was an anticipated, but not yet signed, deal with the village of Rosemont for $4.4 million.
The county sued the village after the county enacted an ordinance in 1997 requiring public entertainment venues to collect an “amusement tax.” Rosemont fought the tax, maintaining it wasn’t required to do so. A judge ruled in 2005 that Rosemont was wrong and ordered the town to pay up, although how much remained up in the air.
Rosemont agreed to begin collecting the tax at the Allstate Arena, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and Rosemont Theater as of January 2006, said Pat Driscoll, head of the Cook County state’s attorney’s civil actions bureau.
Although they haven’t yet signed a deal, Rosemont has generally agreed to pay $4.4 million — an amount determined by an outside auditor picked by both the county and Rosemont, Driscoll said. They county also may receive non-cash, or “in-kind,” payments in the way of services of some kind, Driscoll said.
The bulk of the money to pay for the raises comes from a settlement with U.S. Gypsum, which paid millions to the Public Building Commission for asbestos insulation in the Daley Center. The commission is owned by the city and the county and distributed settlement money to both, with the county receiving $21 million, Driscoll said.
That money was received July 10, Stroger said.

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