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Fired Chicago Employee Gets New $90K Job With Cook County

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Fox News Chicago
by Dane Placko

Chicago - Just months after losing his City of Chicago job as deputy water superintendent under a cloud of scandal, Tommie Talley has landed on another government payroll.

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has given Talley a $90,000/year job, in spite of the fact that Talley was accused of ripping off Chicago taxpayers and handing out jobs based on politics, not qualifications.

Stroger was not able to answer our questions on Tuesday, the same day that Talley began workign as a supervisor in the Cook County Highway Department, making more than $40/hour. Talley's new job is an appointed position which had to be signed-off on by the President's office.

"I don't know who Tom Talley is off the top of my head," said Stroger on Tuesday. "You know how many employees there are? Asking me questions about an employee is not gonna get you an answer. I give people jobs so they can do work and do what the county needs."

Last February, Talley resigned from his $129,000 a year job with the Chicago Water Department, after an Inspector General investigation recommended he be fired. The report found that Talley was ordering Chicago crews to work on private property -- what they called "Tom Talley specials" -- and was using his position to award jobs based on politics.

"It's an insult to all the taxpayers of Cook County," said Commissioner Larry Suffredin. "Here Todd Stroger has 56 days left in office and he continues to just throw things in our face. This should never have happened, because I'm sure whoever the next President is-- they're gonna be fired on December 6 at 10 a.m. when the oath of office is administered."

So why should someone accused of corruption at one government job be able to walk across the street to take another? City of Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson said that wouldn't happen under his plan to create a "Do Not Rehire" list that would be shared between, and honored by, the city, county, state and all local governments.

"If you can still go to another governmental body and get a job there, the onus and the consequence for engaging in misconduct in the city really isn't all that great," said Ferguson.

Ferguson said the Mayor's office has signed off on the "Do Not Rehire" list and it will be presented to other local governments in the coming weeks.

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