Stroger sets record straight on CFO, sales tax
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
by Wendell Huston
Last week’s surprise resignation by the
county’s chief financial officer came as no
surprise to her boss and cousin, Cook County
Board President Todd Stroger.
“We had talked about it already and she was
planning on leaving the county this year anyway,”
Stroger told the Defender about Donna
Dunnings. “Her resignation had nothing to do
with the Tony Cole situation.”
Cole is an ex-con who was fired two weeks
ago by Stroger
after it was revealed that Cole did not disclose
his criminal background on his employment
Cole, who was unavailable for comment, is
currently being held at Cook County Jail on
$200,000 bond for a probation violation,
according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office.
But Stroger critics said Dunnings resigned
on April 16 amid allegations Cole reportedly
made that the two of them were involved in an
intimate relationship. Stroger hired Cole after
meeting him at a restaurant where Cole was
working as a busboy.
“At this point, Mr. Cole is a disgruntled
employee, and he turned out to be a bad hire,”
Dunnings, who was unavailable for comment,
has denied having any relationship with
Cole beyond being a mentor and his boss.
She did admit to spending $4,000 to bail
Cole out of the county jail twice over the past
In retrospect, Stroger said Dunnings may
have tried to help Cole too much.
“I think you have to be careful in helping
people,” he said. “I think she went too far.”