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Stroger nominates 9 to monitor public health system

Sunday, May 04, 2008
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger late Friday released a list of the nine people he wants on an independent board of directors to oversee the county's vast public-health system, including one whose former health clinic ran afoul of the Internal Revenue Service.

Three nominees, all of whom must be approved by the County Board, have strong Democratic ties. They are F. Daniel Cantrell, an aide to U.S. Rep.
Danny Davis (D-Ill.); David Carvalho, deputy director of the Illinois Department of Public Health; and Quin Golden, former chief of staff at the state public health agency.

In the late 1980s, Cantrell ran Mile Square Health Center, which failed to pay more than $1 million in payroll taxes as it went bankrupt.

"I think we're going to have to look into
Mile Square
," said Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston), who called for a May 13 confirmation hearing on the nominees.

Cantrell has said the
Mile Square
problems were caused by a dispute with the federal government that resulted in a loss of funding, and that the issue should not disqualify him from serving on the board.

Suffredin said he's working with Stroger to strengthen the powers of the independent board by amending the ordinance that created the panel.

But Suffredin said he opposed efforts by the Stroger administration to include a provision to add two more voting directors, one of whom would be a County Board commissioner and Stroger ally. If that were done, Stroger would be able to influence a divided vote by the panel.

The other nominees include Jorge Ramirez, secretary treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor; Heather O'Donnell, a health budget analyst at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability; and Norman Bobins, chairman emeritus of
LaSalle Bank Corp.

They also include Andrea Zopp, a former federal prosecutor who is executive vice president and chief human resources officer at
Exelon Corp.; Barbara Hillman, a union attorney; and Benn Greenspan of the School of Public Health at University of Illinois at Chicago.

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