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Stroger keeps his promises?
COOK COUNTY | Trouble is -- he never made them

Friday, June 27, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON

Opening a Thursday news conference, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger boasted that after just 18 months on the job, he had successfully fulfilled his three main campaign promises:

• • Turning over control of the juvenile center to the chief judge;

• • Giving the hospital system to an independent board;

• • And creating an independent inspector general's office.

Trouble is, Stroger didn't make most of the promises.

Stroger's own campaign records show he never promised to give up control of the juvenile center or hospital -- and in fact argued they should remain in his hands.

Stroger made the claims as he introduced finalists for the inspector general job, which he did promise to create: Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Ferguson and Robert Williams, an inspector general for Los Angeles schools.

The two were picked by an independent panel. A third finalist will be named later.

Stroger and his press staff emphasized that this step meant he had kept three original 2006 campaign promises.

But a newspaper questionnaire shows that Stroger said "the County Board and its president should maintain control over the Bureau of Health," while his own campaign Web site said, "I am not ready to give up on the [juvenile center] -- we owe it to our youths to fix this mess in the best way we can find and that means owning up to our own mistakes and fixing them ourselves."

But Thursday, Stroger claimed he had always promised to turn those operations over to others. A Stroger spokesman later said Stroger misspoke.



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