Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Stroger Defends Record, Bashes Critics

"We had a very good four years," former Cook County Board President says in rare interview

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Stroger name once carried tremendous power in Cook County, but a year and a half after vacating the Cook County Board President's office, Todd Stroger finds himself out of the limelight and working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Jeff Goldblatt reports. (Published Thursday, Apr 19, 2012)

    The Stroger name once carried tremendous power in Cook County, but a year and a half after leaving office as Cook County Board President, Todd Stroger now finds himself out of the limelight and working multiple jobs to support his family.

    He's been a frequent critic of the media and seldom talks to the press, but ironically now hosts a weekly talk show on WVON radio. The program, he said, is his way of spreading the truth, whether it's about his former top aide, Carla Oglesby, who was indicted after allegedly rigging sham contracts for personal gain, or about political mentor Bill Beavers, indicted on federal tax fraud charges.

    "I don't know why official misconduct would take almost two years to go to trial," he said of the Oglesby case.

    On Beavers, he said his trust in his friend will not waver until he sees "something differently."

    On the legality of his own term, he said he has no concerns.

    "You know, one of the things that no one ever talks about is our term, my term, those four years -- things happen ... we had a very good four years," he said.

    Speaking about his successor, Toni Preckwinkle, Stroger said he believes she's having a "tough time," but "she wouldn't tell you that."

    Stroger blames Preckwinkle for a leadership failure that led to a scandal at the county morgue, where bodies were stacked up for weeks. Preckwinkle publicly criticized Stroger during her run for office.

    "I don't really have any respect for people who take low blows like that, but that doesn't mean I want to see the county do bad," he said.

    Watch the full interview on the Ward Room TV show.