A Cook County judge refused
today to use money posted by the county's former chief financial
officer to pay for a private attorney for an ex-county employee, now
Judge James Patrick Murphy had been asked by the public
defender's office to use $4,000 posted by ex-CFO Donna Dunnings to bail
her aide Tony Cole out of jail.
Cole, 29, had been jailed on accusations of violating
an order of protection in a domestic battery case. He remains jailed
now for violating conditions of his bond.
Dunnings was asked to resign from her county office
shortly after media contacted the county about her posting bond for
Cole, who has an extensive arrest record. But Judge Murphy noted that
the money could not be used without a hearing, which would involve
"There has to be a hearing ... and at that hearing, the
interest of third parties has to be considered," Murphy said. "If he
qualifies for the public defender's office, that's the end of it."
County administrators claimed Cole was fired from his
$61,000-a-year job for not disclosing criminal convictions in Georgia,
but later admitted they had FBI reports showing his true arrest record
months before they fired him. He was fired April 9, the day before a
newspaper story revealing his criminal history and employment with the
county was set to run.