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Preckwinkle dumps Stroger ally

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
by LISA DONOVAN

Marlo Kemp, chief financial officer for the Cook County Forest Preserve and pal of former County Board President Todd Stroger, has been handed a pink slip by his new boss.

Toni Preckwinkle, who as County Board president also serves as president of the county Forest Preserve board, showed him the door Monday, officials said.

“He serves at the will of the president, and we’re just making some changes,” said Forest Preserve Supt. Arnold Randall. “We want to move in a little bit different direction.”

Kemp’s job was considered a political appointment under the president and therefore exempt from the court-ordered Shakman decree that bans most political hiring and firing in city and county government.

Kemp, hired in 2004, served as an assistant to the late County Board President John Stroger — Todd Stroger’s father. After Todd Stroger took office in 2006, he tapped Kemp to serve as forest preserve CFO; Kemp’s salary was $131,976 annually, according to forest preserve records. Kemp also was treasurer of Todd Stroger’s failed bid for re-election in 2010.

“It’s the president’s prerogative to fire who she wishes,” Kemp, 44, said by phone Tuesday. “At some point you’re a part of the old team — and you tend to know what happens to old team members when the new team comes on.”

He said his resume, which includes degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Techology and University of Chicago, will aid him in his job search.

A replacement hasn’t been hired; the forest preserve’s comptroller Daniel P. Donovan will take on the CFO’s duties until the search concludes.



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