Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Cook County could pay $3.2 million to settle patronage claims
Commissioners expected to vote on deal Wednesday

Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick

Cook County taxpayers face a $3.2 million tab to settle the claims of more than 100 people who were illegally denied county jobs or promotions because of politics, a federal hiring monitor and county officials confirmed Tuesday.

County Board President
Todd Stroger supports the proposed awards, which commissioners were expected to vote on at Wednesday's board meeting.

Legally challenging the awards could prove even more costly and interfere with the county's goal of ending federal court supervision of its hiring practices by spring, Assistant State's Atty. Patrick Driscoll Jr. told county commissioners in a letter recommending approval.

The proposal comes just months after Chicago taxpayers shelled out $12 million in payments to 1,424 people to settle violations of the Shakman decree, a landmark legal action that bars political consideration in hiring, promotions and discipline for most government jobs in Chicago and Cook County.

RetiredCookCounty Judge Julia Nowicki was appointed to evaluate the county's compliance with the federal court ban on patronage in November 2006, two months after FBI agents raided county offices in an ongoing investigation of hiring practices.

"I think anybody who watched FBI agents raid county offices years ago and cart out documents based on an investigation of illegal patronage hiring will know this has been a problem for some time," said Commissioner Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago), who frequently criticizes Stroger for padding the county payroll with political cronies.

"It's just an additional cost-of-corruption issue," added Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-Chicago), a Claypool ally. "My interest is, 'Are we making any progress?' This is just the tab."

Earlier this year Nowicki reported that Stroger has failed to take "simple" steps to prevent illegal patronage hiring. She also told county commissioners she could not investigate dozens of allegations of hiring abuses because she didn't want to interfere with the federal investigation.

In addition to recommending ways the county could eliminate patronage, Nowicki was asked to consider more than 200 claims of illegal patronage that allegedly occurred between Aug. 28, 2004, when Stroger's late father, John, was president, and Feb. 2, 2007, about two months after Todd Stroger took office. She determined that about half will lead to a monetary award, Driscoll wrote.

Nowicki confirmed that the board would consider $3.2 million in awards for "victims of illegal patronage" but declined to elaborate Tuesday. She said she would discuss how the awards were determined after the board meeting.

The county has paid about $1.5 million in legal fees for the operation of Nowicki's office.

Stroger issued an executive order Tuesday barring retaliation against anyone who cooperated with or received an award from Nowicki, said Laura Lechowicz Felicione, a special counsel to Stroger.

Stroger on Wednesday also plans to propose an ordinance that would require elected county officials who make county personnel recommendations to commit them to writing. The ordinance would allow such recommendations based only on skill and experience, rather than politics, and bar retaliation against employees and county officials who allege illegal patronage practices.

The board enacted a similar but less specific ordinance that did not require recommendations be put in writing when Nowicki was appointed.


Recent Headlines

Illinois Dept. of Revenue Releases Final 2018 Cook County Equalization Factor
Thursday, June 06, 2019
JD Supra

At Cook County Jail, Inmates Relax Their Minds, Bodies With Yoga
Thursday, June 06, 2019
Prison Mindfulness Institute

Skokie drops recent proposal to opt out of Cook County minimum wage ordinance
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

JAMA examines rising drug costs • CVS' ambitious transformation • Cook County extends Medicaid contract
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County judge, ripped for ‘insensitive’ racial comments, dumped from bench
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Offers Low Cost Rabies And Microchipping Clinic
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Patch

Masturbating Cook County Jail inmates could cost taxpayers $2 million-plus in legal fees
Tuesday, June 04, 2019

New training and protocols needed at Cook County, task force says after sexual harassment scandal
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County assessor's tax reform bill skids in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi's property tax reforms stall out in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District has found the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in the District this year.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County to Address Perinatal Health Disparities with $4.8M Grant
Friday, May 24, 2019
WTTW News

Audit Recommends Ways To Overhaul Cook County Property Tax System
Thursday, May 23, 2019
WBEZ News

Cock-a-doodle-deferred? After ‘urban farmers’ cry foul, county tables rooster ban
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

From green screen computers to staff shortages, a new audit says Cook County's property tax system needs more resources
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019
WTTW News

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP