Bodyguards are a touchy topic in Chicago politics. It's no different at the county level.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle faces a $300 million county deficit, a number she's dealing with in part by considering layoffs and facility closures.
Preckwinkle now faces another number: the nearly $10,000 pay raise she reportedly gave to one of her three bodyguards, Delwin Gadlen. The former Chicago police officer and Preckwinkle's top-paid bodyguard received the raise on July 7, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, from $90,290 to $100,260.
Gadlen was chosen for Preckwinkle's security detail after volunteering as an unpaid driver during the board president's campaign, but Preckwinkle spokeswoman Jessey Neves told the Sun-Times that experience, not politics, determined the job.
"My detail is the smallest of any executive in town, the governor, the mayor, and it's comparable in size to the detail of our retired Mayor Daley," Preckwinkle said.
On the city level, Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently cut former Mayor Richard Daley's six-member security detail in half. Ald. Ed Burke's security also was trimmed to four retired police officers.