Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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.

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Stroger census contracts under investigation

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick

Two top aides to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger sidestepped the need for commissioners’ approval in doling out nearly $150,000 in census outreach work to people they knew.

The eight contracts are among those being investigated by the county inspector general’s office as it continues to probe Deputy Chief of Staff Carla Oglesby and a company she owns, officials said.

The investigation was launched in the wake of disclosures that a public relations firm owned by Oglesby, spokeswoman for Stroger’s failed re-election bid, was paid just under $25,000 by the county days after Stroger put her on the payroll at $120,000 a year.

Oglesby sought approval for the census outreach contracts. She and Eugene Mullins, Stroger’s spokesman and boyhood friend, picked the eight firms and individuals hired to promote census participation, Mullins said.

Nearly all of the deals were for $24,995 — $5 less than the $25,000 that would have required county board approval. That raised questions among commissioners as to whether the Stroger administration purposefully skirted contracting requirements.

“I would certainly think they wouldn’t have that many contracts that were $24,900,” said Commissioner Larry Suffredin, D-Evanston.

Commissioner John Daley, D-Chicago, the Finance Committee chairman, also said he’s concerned about the contract amounts.
“All of this is under review by the inspector general,” Daley said.

Oglesby returned to work last week after serving a five-day suspension imposed by Stroger, who initially said the time off would last until Inspector General Patrick Blanchard concluded his investigation.

Mullins received a significant raise after Stroger’s last place finish in the Feb. 2 Democratic primary election. He said Tuesday that his raise was being reversed in the wake of publicity.

Mullins said the contracts were handed out to firms and individuals who could wage grass-roots efforts to get more people to participate in the census.

The contracts were sought by Oglesby on April 15 and 16, and checks were issued to six of the firms one week later. None of the firms returned calls asking them to explain the work they were doing.

Invoices submitted by two of the contractors — K. Gregory Demos and the Illinois Human Development Council — were nearly identical and included the same unlisted phone number. Mullins said the Human Development Council contract, which had yet to be paid, was canceled in the wake of questions by the Tribune and another media outlet.

Mullins said the firms were chosen after it was determined the county still had federal funds allocated to promote census participation. “Either we can spend the money the best we can or it goes back to Washington,” Mullins said.

But leaders of the Cook County Complete Count Committee, appointed by Stroger to conduct census outreach, said they were unaware of the contracts.

“Our work has essentially wound down, because the census bureau was putting people out on the street,” committee Chairman Albert Pritchett said.

The contracts were designed to get more people to participate in the door-to-door portion of the census, after the mail-in deadline had passed, Mullins said.

One census expert said outreach could help at this stage of the game. “The big message right now is that the census is not over,” said Terri Ann Lowenthal, a consultant for the Funders Census Initiative. “It’s far from over, and it’s reached its most critical stage.”


Recent Headlines

‘Do you know who I am?’ Investigators say Cook County commissioner pressed cops to scrap ally’s $250 parking ticket
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

IG: Cook County needs revamp on sexual harassment outside of work following allegations against Preckwinkle ex-chief of staff
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Higher Assessments Hit North Suburban Commercial Property Owners
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Evanston Patch

How did an inmate get a loaded gun into Cook County Jail?
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Check exemptions, file an appeal: What you can do to fight your Cook County property tax bill
Thursday, July 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

’A lack of mental health services has plagued Chicago for decades’: Holy Cross Hospital expanding to fill that void on the Southwest Side
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

How To Appeal Your Cook County Property Tax Assessment
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

County Commission Hopes to Increase 2020 Census Participation
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
WTTW News

Cook County Property Tax Bills: Where Does Your Money Go?
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

Seniors Receive Inflated Property Tax Bills By Mistake
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
WBBM Radio

Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts’ property tax appeal under investigation after Tribune finds assessment problem
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
Chicago Tribune

North suburban landlords slapped with big assessment hikes
Monday, July 08, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Miscalculation leads to increased tax bills in Wheeling Township
Friday, July 05, 2019
Daily Herald

Judge rules state legislators violated Illinois Constitution by voting to freeze their pay
Wednesday, July 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Search: Chicago Property Tax Increases and Decreases by Ward
Wednesday, July 03, 2019
WTTW News

Millions in Cook County property tax refunds going to homeowners whose bills show no balance due
Monday, July 01, 2019
ABC 7 Chicago

Why 7,600 property owners in suburban Cook County are getting tax refunds
Monday, July 01, 2019
Daily Herald

$25 million in property tax refunds going to 25,000 owners
Monday, July 01, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Illinois hiring hundreds to reduce Medicaid backlogs
Monday, July 01, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

County health officials say IG report was ‘simply wrong’ even as commissioners plan hearings on system’s finances
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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