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Hospital official suspended

Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter

A Cook County hospital administrator is suspended and could lose his job as county officials investigate his criminal past.

Tom Hendrix, a manager at Stroger Hospital, was suspended without pay Tuesday, said Caryn Stancik, spokeswoman for County Board President John Stroger.

Hendrix's criminal past became an issue after he was mentioned in a Chicago Sun-Times' story Sunday that detailed a "clout list" reportedly kept by employees of Cook County Commissioner Roberto Maldonado. The 1998 list featured names of people who helped Maldonado's campaign and who either needed county government jobs or had been recently placed in jobs. Hendrix was listed as an "area coordinator," as employees were grouped by whose precinct they lived in.

Maldonado admitted that Hendrix, who spent 30 months in federal prison for conspiracy to solicit a murder for hire, was an active member of his political organization.

Felony conviction on record

Stancik would not discuss the reasons for Hendrix's suspension, but sources said it would allow investigators to verify whether he listed his felony conviction when he got the $68,000 hospital job.

Hendrix, a former 1st Ward aldermanic candidate, had been out of the spotlight for years, until his name was included on the "clout list," which showed jobs available in the public and private sector. Maldonado denied making calls on those jobs, but several contacts said he did call them.

The list noted that jobs at City Hall and the city's water and streets and sanitation departments were to go through Victor Reyes, who was Mayor Daley's director of intergovernmental affairs at the time.

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