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Todd Stroger: Leading by Example

By Kevin Robinson in News on May 20, 2008 6:10PM

2008_5_cook_seal.jpgCiting a recent county ordinance encouraging contractors to give ex-convicts a second chance, two county employees with criminal records defended their jobs. James D'Amico is responsible for maintaining county buildings, and Myron Colvin is a grant writer for the county's scandal-plagued job training program. D'Amico pleaded guilty to making threatening phone calls during a charged political race in 1996, and Colvin pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault after a club fight in 1989. Both chalked it up to being young.

Besides being ex-cons, both are connected to state legislators: D'Amico is the brother of Chicago state Rep. John D'Amico, and nephew of 39th Ward Ald. Margaret Laurino, and Colvin is the brother of Stroger's best friend, Chicago state Rep. Marlow Colvin. Stroger spokesman Eugene Mullins defended the hires, saying that they are qualified for the jobs, and that they work in exempt positions, jobs that Stroger has the freedom to fill with whomever he chooses. "Anybody who we hire, [critics] seem to have a problem with," Mullins told the Sun-Times. Jay Stewart of the Better Government Association doesn't see it that way. "It is clear that he isn't going to reach beyond his inner circle" to fill important jobs, he said.