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Fired aide asked employees for $100 to Stroger campaign fund

Thursday, January 20, 2011
Chicago Tribune
by John Byrne

A Cook County Human Resources Department manager pressured employees to contribute at least $100 each to a fundraiser last fall for outgoing County Board President Todd Stroger, county Inspector General Patrick Blanchard said in a report released today.

The human resources manager convened a meeting with subordinates and informed them of their expected donations to the Oct. 5 “Tribute to Todd Stroger” event held by Stroger’s political committee at the Excalibur nightclub, the report states. The manager already has been terminated, the report says.

Stroger came in last in a four-way Democratic primary election nearly a year ago. Former Chicago Ald. Toni Preckwinkle replaced him as board president last month.

Other incidents covered in the inspector general’s latest quarterly report, which includes findings by the county watchdog from October 2010 through the end of the year:

*A supervisor in the county’s troubled President’s Office of Employment training program failed to disclose a job applicant was a family member, then gave the applicant “the highest possible interview score.” The supervisor has been fired, the report states

*A county Highway Department parts manager fraudulently acquired equipment for personal use. The person has been terminated, and Blanchard has issued recommendations to help prevent theft within the department.

*A Highway Department manager tampered with a laid-off worker’s human resources form so it would seem the worker had been on the payroll within the past two years, and would be eligible to be re-hired without posting the position. The manager and worker were terminated.

*A Forest Preserve District supervisor used a county vehicle to travel home, to a political fundraiser and several other non-work locations . The supervisor has been fired.


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