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Cook County Board delays action on no-bid contracts

Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Daily Herald
by Rob Olmstead

Cook County Board members have voted to delay two no-bid contracts proposed by the Todd Stroger administration after at least one commissioner asked for more information about the proposals and was rebuffed.

A $2.1 million contract to WMA Consulting Engineering, which has donated thousands to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, was deferred along with another no-bid contract to a firm to help design a parking lot.

Commissioner Tim Schneider, a Bartlett Republican, asked for the deferment after asking the administration for details and not getting answers, he said at a committee meeting Tuesday.

The approval for the no-bid contracts had been sought by Bruce Washington, a Stroger administrator who recently attended the trial of Antoin "Tony" Rezko in support of Rezko, his friend. Rezko is accused of extorting kickbacks from companies trying to do business with state boards.

In addition to Schneider's request for information, the Daily Herald had requested, both orally and in writing, copies of the no-bid contract proposal. The request was made March 28 to Eugene Mullins, the new $100,000 county spokesman.

Mullins never responded with any documents but left a message Friday with the paper that he had made a mistake and sought from the administration information on unrelated contracts with the state's attorney's office.



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