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Preckwinkle removes Turner as head of job training program

Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Tuesday announced the appointment of a new director for a long-troubled job training program.

Karin Norington-Reaves was tapped to head the President’s Office of Employment and Training (POET) program. She will take over from former state Rep. Art Turner (D-Chicago).

Turner’s removal is part of an ongoing purge in the president’s office as Preckwinkle, who took office a month ago, replaces the political appointees of her predecessor, Todd Stroger, with her own.

Norington-Reaves most recently served as Deputy Director of the Office of Urban Assistance at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, according to Preckwinkle’s office. That’s the same state agency that has repeatedly criticized the POET program for its spending and accounting practices. Approximately $8.4 million was returned to the state by POET between 2003 and 2008, “which could have been used to provide training for nearly 5,000 south suburban and west suburban residents,” according to a statement issued last summer by the state agency.

Norington-Reaves will keep the salary her predecessor had: $110,574.



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