Board chief fills slot on press staff
Friday, September 17, 2010
by Lisa Donovan
Though faced with a growing budget deficit, lame-duck Cook County
Board President Todd Stroger has just filled an open position on his
Marcel Bright, 54, a retired Chicago cop, started Monday as an
$89,000-a-year deputy director of communications for Stroger. He
replaces Sean Howard, now working for a county-run youth job-training
Until August, Bright had been spokesman for Stroger Hospital -- the
largest of the three hospitals in the county health system. The job was
eliminated because of budget cuts, according to Lucio Guerrero,
spokesman for the county health and hospital system.
Bright previously worked as a spokesman for the Chicago Police
Department, like his new boss, Eugene Mullins, Stroger's chief
Stroger's communications staff also includes Chris Geovanis and James
Ramos. Most political appointees -- including those on the
communications staff -- are expected to be out of a job after the
Given that and a projected county budget deficit of $300 million to
$400 million in 2011, Cindi Canary, executive director of the Illinois
Campaign for Political Reform, questioned the new hire.
"0n balance, are communications the biggest need our county has? I don't think so," she said.
Ramos said there hasn't been a slowdown in the number of media inquiries to Stroger, so replacing Howard was essential.