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Moody favored to fill vacant Cook County Board seat, sources say

Thursday, October 06, 2016
Chicago Tribune
by Ted Slowik

Moody favored to fill vacant Cook County Board seat, sources say

Cook County Board Commissioner Joan Patricia Murphy during a board meeting on July 15, 2015.

(Phil Velasquez / Chicago Tribune)

Ted Slowik

South suburban Cook County residents interested in seeing democracy in action are free to observe how Democrats will fill a vacancy on the Cook County Board on Saturday.

Last week, I wrote about how a handful of members of a private organization — the Cook County 6th District Democratic Committee — get to decide a replacement for an open seat on the Cook County Board.

I wrote how Tim Bradford, committeeman for Rich Township, will chair the process since his township makes up the largest percentage in the district formerly represented by Joan Patricia Murphy, who died of cancer Sept. 18.

True to his word, Bradford called me Wednesday to say nine people have expressed interest in filling the vacancy. Bradford and other members of the committee will meet to select a replacement at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Leonard Robinson Family Center at the Rich Township government complex, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. The meeting is public, he said.

Bradford said the nine applicants are:

•Antoine Bass, of Richton Park, president of the Rich Township High School District 227 Board of Education;

•Brian Bernardoni, of Justice, senior director of government affairs and public policy for the Chicago Association of Realtors;

•John A. Daly, of Oak Forest, vice chair of the South Suburban College Community College District 510 Board of Trustees;

•Terry Matthews, a South Chicago Heights trustee and committeeman for Bloom Township;

•Donna Miller, of Lynwood, who works in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry and is the wife of former 29th District state Rep. David Miller;

Insiders to choose replacement for south suburban Cook County commissioner

•Ed Moody, of Chicago Ridge, Worth Township highway commissioner;

•Tricia Murphy of Crestwood, daughter of the late Cook County Board commissioner;

•Ed Paesel, of Sauk Village, executive director of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association; and

•Lou Presta, mayor of Crestwood.

Some of the applicants told me they did not expect to be selected to fill the vacancy, and one said he intended to withdraw.

"I'm going to remove myself from the list," Bernardoni told me.

Presta, the Crestwood mayor, said he thinks he'd do a good job on the Cook County Board, citing his record growing the tax base in his community. But he said he understood his chances are slim.

"I don't think I'll get it," Presta said.

Miller, who ran unsuccessfully for the District 15 state Senate seat in 2012, said she'd like to represent the south suburbs on the county board.

"We want to get our fair share in the Southland," she said.

Joan Murphy, Cook County commissioner, longtime politician dies at 79

Moody has emerged as the likely selection, according to sources who did not want to be identified.

Moody did not immediately respond to a message left with an associate at his Worth Township office.

His biography on the Worth Township website says he and his wife, Vicki, have raised their nephew, Ryan, for the past 13 years.

"Ed served Worth Township as president of the Governing Board of Eisenhower Special Education Co-op, as well as president of (Chicago Ridge) School District 127.5. He is currently an administrator with the chief judge at the Bridgeview Courthouse. Ed is a former technician engineer for the Cook County Highway Department," the website says.

Moody and his twin brother, Fred, are supporters of House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan.

Campaign disclosure reports filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections show that in the second half of 2010, Friends of Michael J. Madigan reported payroll and per diem expenses paid to Edward and Fred Moody.

Madigan's campaign paid $7,830 to Ed Moody and $10,599 to Fred Moody during the period, records show.

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown on Wednesday said he was "not aware" of any involvement by Madigan in filling the vacancy on the Cook County Board.

"He's pretty busy with the statewide reelection stuff right now," Brown said.

Friends of Ed Moody reported $50,032 in its campaign fund at the end of June, the most recent period available. During the fourth quarter last year, Moody's campaign reported donations from at least 20 different legal firms.

Cook County's 6th District includes parts of many communities: Bedford Park, Justice, Bridgeview, Hickory Hills, Palos Hills, Chicago Ridge, Worth, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, Alsip, Blue Island, Crestwood, Robbins, Midlothian, Oak Forest, Tinley Park, Country Club Hills, Matteson, Frankfort, Richton Park, University Park and Park Forest.

The district also includes: Chicago Heights, South Chicago Heights, Steger, Sauk Village, Ford Heights, Lynwood, Lansing, Glenwood, Flossmoor, Homewood, Thornton, East Hazel Crest, South Holland, Calumet City and Dolton.

As I wrote last week, committeemen choosing the replacement commissioner include Bradford, Michael Carroll of Orland Township, Maggie Crotty of Bremen Township, Bob Rita of Calumet Township, Robert Maloney of Palos Township, and Frank Zuccarelli of Thornton Township.

Each of the Cook County Board's 17 commissioners represents about 300,000 residents. Commissioners are paid annual salaries of $85,000 — plus expenses and benefits — and each commissioner's office spends about $350,000 per year, mostly on staff salaries.

tslowik@tribpub.com



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