Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Cole scandal raises doubts about Stroger

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Chicago Sun-Times
by Sun Times editorial staff

The more we learn about the Tony Cole scandal, the more we're forced to question the credibility of Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

Cole, as you might recall, was the busboy with a history of terrorizing women who looked like good county employee material to Stroger.

Stroger said he knew little about Cole's past when he hired him at the county last year. He said he simply wanted to give the troubled Cole a second chance.

We're all for second chances. It's important for young people with spotty backgrounds to get fresh starts.

But for several months running, Cole was the luckiest Cook County employee alive.

Recall that while working for the county, Cole was thrown in jail not once, but twice.

His boss, Donna Dunnings, who was then the county's chief financial officer, bailed him out each time.

You may remember Dunnings is Stroger's cousin.

For most folks, two stints in lock-up might affect your job.

It sure did for Cole.

He got a raise, and eventually was paid more than $60,000 a year.

Now, you might wonder, where was the routine background check on new hires that would have alerted county officials about Cole's background?

Well, the county says it lost it.

How lucky for Cole.

Cole's good fortune did not stop there, though, as Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mark Konkol reported on Sunday, the latest in his scoops on the scandal.

While in jail, Cole still got paid, thanks to racking up some comp time, county records show.

And no less than an authority than Dunnings signed off on it.

Did we mention Cole had been working for the county for roughly a month the first time he was thrown in jail?

The county's own records appear to indicate he didn't work nearly enough time to earn those comp days, but that meant little for the lucky Cole.

Cole, apparently, got to keep his own time records, according to Konkol's story.

Cole's magic finally ran out in April when Stroger fired him -- just as the Sun-Times was about to bring Cole's unsavory background to light.

A week later, Stroger forced out his cousin, Dunnings, too.

We'd love to tell you why Stroger gave Dunnings the boot, but he has given contradictory explanations.

Stroger first said Dunnings had done nothing wrong, but that rumors were being spread about her that were going to make it impossible for her to do her job.

Days later, Stroger said Dunnings' departure had nothing to do with Cole, and that they had long discussed her leaving for another job.

Which was news to Dunnings.

When the man responsible for running a $3 billion government can't provide a consistent explanation for why he pushed out his chief financial officer, the voters who elected him have reason to doubt his leadership skills.

That is simply one of numerous questions for which Stroger has failed to provide clear, reasonable answers.

We've listed those questions before, but we'll refrain from doing so again.

If Stroger had been inclined to answer them, he would have by now.

In fact, the Stroger administration is doing just the opposite of clarifying what happened with Cole by stonewalling requests from the Sun-Times for basic public information about Cole's employment.

Rest assured, though, the Sun-Times is staying on the case, which also has attracted the attention of the Cook County state's attorney's office and the FBI.

This scandal isn't going away.



Recent Headlines

Cook County Health eyes new call center, more nurses to better compete for patients
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Obamacare money boost helps Cook County hospitals budget next year
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health puts brakes on plan to sell HMO on Obamacare exchange
Friday, August 15, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

City home values only glimmer in bleak Cook property value report
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Trends in Estimated Full Value of Real Estate in Cook County
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The Civic Federation

Forest Preserves of Cook County Offers Wilderness Camping Opportunities for Families
Monday, August 11, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Court: Bears owe Cook County $4.1 million in ticket taxes
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

3-week closures announced for Crawford repaving
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Skokie Review

Appeals court rules against Preckwinkle tax on business
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Panel: Cook Co. use tax violates state law
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

County awards $680K to groups working to curb recidivism
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Inmates signing up for Obamacare: Dart
Monday, August 04, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Property tax bills rise at Cook County's biggest buildings
Monday, August 04, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

9,000 Cook County Jail Inmates Enroll in Obamacare Amid Mental Health Crisis
Monday, August 04, 2014
5 NBC Chicago

'Transit deserts' don't serve workers, study says
Sunday, August 03, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Berrios relatives risk injury for right to crowd county payroll
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest Preserve HQ plans expansion in River Forest
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Records falsified in Metra work logs
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

How we shaft the mentally ill
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

County Board Of Review To Digitize, Streamline Property Tax Appeals System
Monday, July 28, 2014
Journal Online

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP