Stroger patronage figure released on bond
Monday, June 15, 2009
by Ofelia Casillas and Matthew Walberg
former steakhouse busboy hired by Cook County Board President Todd
Stroger to a $61,000-a-year job was released on bond today, officials
Tony Cole faces charges of violating orders of protection secured by his former girlfriend, who is pregnant.
sprinted out of Cook County Jail shortly before 6 p.m. and jumped onto
a CTA bus. He declined comment when a Tribune reporter questioned him
on the bus.
sheriff's officers stood behind Cole earlier today as a judge lowered
his bond to $40,000 on the charges, according to his lawyer, Peter
Bormes. The bond had been increased to $200,000 in April after
probation officers testified that Cole had violated home confinement
Cole has been held in Cook County Jail since April 14. He is scheduled to go on trial on July 14.
hiring of Cole, a former college basketball star with a short resume
and lengthy rap sheet, sparked a patronage controversy that led Stroger
to fire a cousin, Donna Dunnings, from her job as the county's chief
Dunnings bailed Cole out of jail twice for alleged misdemeanor domestic restraining order violations.
was working as a busboy at a River North steakhouse, where he met
Stroger. In October, Stroger hired Cole for an administrative job
paying about $48,000 a year, and in February promoted Cole to a
$61,000-a-year human relations job.
Cole was working as an assistant to Dunnings when she twice bailed him out of jail, posting $4,000.
April 9, Stroger fired Cole after media inquiries about Cole's criminal
past, which included convictions for battery, disorderly conduct and
writing a bad check. Stroger said he took the action after learning
that Cole had lied about his criminal history on his job application.
On April 16, Stroger forced Dunnings' resignation after media inquiries about her bailing Cole out of jail.