Stroger Gave Raises, Hired Staff After Freeze

Stroger gave 10 raises after December freeze

By Andrew Greiner
|  Thursday, May 13, 2010  |  Updated 5:07 PM CDT
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2010 Illinois Election Guide

AP

**FILE** In this June 28, 2006 file photo Chicago Alderman Todd Stroger answers a question at a news conference after a Chicago City Council meeting. In November 2006, Stroger won the election to replace his father, John Stroger as Cook County Board president, after the elder Stroger suffered a stroke in March 2006. More than a year after Stroger was sworn in, critics say not much has changed in a government perhaps best known as a place where clout greases the political machine.

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It pays to be pals with Todd Stroger.

The soon-to-be unemployed Cook County Board President doled out raises to no less than 10 political appointees and staffers after the board enacted a pay freeze in December, according to a report requested by commissioners worried about Stroger’s free wheeling ways during his lame-duck months.

He also hired six top-level employees to salaries between $95,000 and $150,000 since losing the February primary, according to the Chicago Tribune. Those salaries were above the limits listed in the budget.

The biggest raise went to his chief financial officer, who received a $54,000 raise to $230,000, according to the Sun-Times.

But this time the prez wasn’t alone. Other Cook County officials rewarded staffers with pay increases despite the freeze.

Forrest Claypool promoted staffer Sarah Cochran to chief of staff and gave her a $20,000 raise to boot.

Claypool said his office would correct the salary change if it was found to be in violation. 

Update: This story has been corrected to change the amount of Sarah Cochran's compensation.

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