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Controversial PR contract was a "no-no," Stroger says

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
ChicagoCurrent
by Alex Parker

The $24,975 contract awarded to the PR firm owned by County Board President Todd Stroger’s deputy chief of staff was “a no-no,” Stroger told reporters Tuesday.

Carlo Oglesby served a five-day suspension as a the county’s independent inspector investigates the contract, which was signed just days after Oglesby started working for the county in February.

“I gave her time off for signing a contract that affected a company she was with. That’s a no-no,” he said.

Stroger said Oglesby promised not to take a salary from her firm, CGC Communications, after she took the county job. The firm ran the media arm of Stroger’s failed bid for reelection, and completed work for the county's homeland security department in April.

He said he saw no conflict of interest with her being associated the firm and working for the county. But when pressed on whether or not a county employee should own a firm doing business with the county, he said it might not be allowed.

“I don’t think it would be right, and I think the rules probably prohibit it,” he said. He clarified his stance: “You’re asking me what I think, not what I know.”

County ethics laws state financial conflicts of interest must be disclosed. If one exists the employee will be reassigned so as not to participate in the conflict of interest, or eliminate his or her stake in the matter.


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