Stroger Hasn't Slowed Political Hiring: Report

Stroger spokesperson says his boss is president until December 2010

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    So Long, Stroger |
    Goodbye Todd , Hello Toni! Chicago Ald. Toni Preckwinkle will likely be the election results live on nbcchicago.com.

    Since losing a primary election to Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has amped up his questionable hiring practices.

    A new report, issued Tuesday by Shakman compliance administrator Mary Robinson says Stroger has gone on a political hiring bender, the Sun-Times reports.

    "Since losing his primary bid to run for re-election, the President has aggressively used his legal authority to make unilateral exempt hiring and firing decisions to reward supporters and part company with those who are disloyal," Robinson wrote in her 35-page report.

    According to Robinson, the Stroger administration lowered minimum job qualifications without a reason and interviewed job candidates while pretending to not know about their political ties.

    Robinson, who is tasked with approving the hiring and firing of thousands of county employees, was asked to sign off on three "emergency hires" who would be paid from a Homeland Security grant. The hires were not allowed to have political ties to Stroger, but Robinson said all three were connected to the Board President's losing reelection bid.

    Robinson ultimately denied the hires. She told the Sun-Times the environment of putting politics before qualifications wastes the taxpayers' money.

    Stroger spokesperson Eugene Mullins denies his boss is rewarding his campaign staffers.

    "It's not a revolving door. The president said a longtime ago people who don't live up to the job performance, he's going to replace them," Mullins told the Sun-Times. "He's president until December 2010, and he's going to continue ensuring good people are running the county."