CHICAGO -- State documents show that Cook County
lost $2.7 million meant to teach job skills to hundreds of suburban
residents because it didn't spend the federal money.
The cash was lost at a time when more than one out of 10 Chicago-area workers are unemployed.
Because of the problems, the Illinois Department of
Commerce and Economic Opportunity is moving to take over the program
until Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's term ends in December.
Cook County Commissioner Timothy Schneider calls increased scrutiny of the use of taxpayer dollars "a good thing."
But the Stroger administration wants a hearing on the
issues and blames the state for many of the program's problems. For
example, the administration accuses the state of improperly withholding
funding from the program and of forcing the county to spend millions of
local tax dollars.