Stroger Allegedly Fires Employees Over Politics - NBC Chicago

Stroger Allegedly Fires Employees Over Politics

Three Forest Preserve District employees let go this week



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    Todd Stroger during a Chicago City Council meeting Wednesday, June 28, 2006, in Chicago. Stroger, the son of Cook County Board President John Stroger, is poised to replace his father who suffered a stroke three months ago in a flurry of negotiations between the Stroger family, and members of the city and county Democratic party.

    County Board President Todd Stroger allegedly fired three Forest Preserve District employees because they didn't support his re-election campaign or had ties to his political rivals, according to the Chicago Sun-Timesand the Better Government Association.

    Sources close to Stroger say he fired Joe Bishop -- an active member in Democratic Chairman Mike Madigan's 13th Ward Organization -- from his $99,686-a-year post as administrative assistant to the district's superintendent. Madigan has not endorsed Stroger in his campaign.

    Allan Mellis, who was making $100,000 a year as director of planning and development, was fired Tuesday, the Sun-Times reported.

    And grant writer Doug Chien, who was has hired in December, was also let go this week. Chien's firing comes shortly after his former employer, the Sierra Club, announced it was endorsing Stroger's opponent, 4th Ward Ald. Toni Preckwinkle.

    A Stroger spokeswoman said the changes were "allowable and permitted by law."

    A Chicago Tribune/WGN polls showed Preckwinkle with a large lead over Stroger in advance of the Feb. 2 election, although Stroger claims his own poll shows him ahead by 12 points.