The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

A Real Disgrace

By Kevin Robinson in News on May 15, 2007 1:50PM

Now that Todd Stroger has put together his executive management Dream Team — what the Chicago Tribune aptly termed "The Friends and Family Plan" (and we wish we came up with that one here at Chicagoist) — he's certainly got his work cut out for him. Unlike the Tribune, however, we hold no illusions that The Toddler will actually fix the problems that his predecessor (did we mention that it was his father?) helped to create.

2007_5_stroger.gifWhile The Toddler had the audacity (and the good kind that Obama seems to be full of these days) to stand in front of the City Club of Chicago and claim that he is making progress, changing the culture of corruption and bureaucratic hopelessness that permeates Cook County these days, Cook County Auditor Laura Burman announced that the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center was rife with mismanagement, financial malfeasance and almost no accountability. Among her findings? A half million dollars in unpaid food bills, and mixing cash held for teenage residents with money alloted for expenses.

On top of the bad news from the internal audit, now The Toddler has Illinois' congressional delegation in D.C. telling him to get his act together. Now that Senator Dick Durbin has given Stroger a stern talking to, he seems to be playing at least lip service to the recommendation that he bring in outside advisers "who know what they're doing." Apparently when a US Senator endorses you over a real reform-minded Democrat, you have to at least pretend to take his advice.

At a time when real leadership is desperately needed in the lives of children who have been caught up in the juvenile "justice" system here, Todd Stroger and his cronies are playing patronage games with the future of real people. Maybe when you come from a politically connected family, when you didn't actually have to work for anything in life, it's OK to build your power base on the backs of the most vulnerable in the community. The real disgrace is that not only does Todd Stroger know that what he is doing is wrong, he just doesn't care.