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Hiring Monitor Meets with the Board

By Kevin Robinson in News on Apr 10, 2008 5:00PM

2008_4_stroger.jpgAs promised, retired Cook County Judge Julia Nowicki spoke to the board of county commissioners yesterday about her most recent hiring report. Nowicki, who was appointed to oversee hiring practices as part of the patronage settlement with the county, told the board that she had "information about current illegal patronage," and that she is still receiving dozens of allegations of illegal patronage hiring. She also discussed the need to hire more staff for the county's HR department, saying that the lack of adequate staff has negatively impacted the county's ability to police itself.

"We don't have any money. We are broke," Todd Stroger said. "Government always runs on a short leash. Somebody has to figure out how we're going to get more money and where it's going to come from. There are a lot of things we won't do." He also denied that patronage was going on. "There's no systematic system that's trying to hire people illegally," he said. Bill Beavers chimed in as well, telling Nowicki that “you came here for a purpose— to talk about patronage— and not run the county,” adding “nobody elected you to do nothing.”

County spokeswoman Ibis Antongiorgi said that the county has a committee that is working on hiring an HR chief, a problem Nowicki noted in her letter to the board.