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Donna Dunnings, Welcome to Cook County

By Kevin Robinson in News on Apr 22, 2009 3:40PM

2009_4_dunnings.jpg Todd Stroger's figured out that he may be in some deep trouble come election day in Cook County. There are myriad reasons for this, from the exorbitant tax hikes we've suffered to the lack of quality county services we're ostensibly paying for, to the sheer arrogance of his administration as they've filled the county's payroll with friends and family while calling critics racists. But Stroger isn't worried about any of that, at least not if his latest series of personnel moves are any indication. To wit, Stroger personally hired convicted check-kiter and one-time steakhouse busboy Tony Cole. Cole, who was convicted of writing bad checks in Georgia, was hired as a $58,000-a-year administrative assistant in the budget department and later promoted to a $61,000-a-year human resources assistant posistion in the highway department. Stroger fired Cole when the Sun-Times revealed the conviction. Late last week Stroger fired his Chief Financial Officer and cousin, Donna Dunnings, because of "explosive" and "not flattering" allegations that Cole made, which Stroger felt would interfere with her ability to do her job.

Now, Dunnings has spoken out. In an exclusive interview with the Sun-Times, Dunnings said that she loves Stroger, but that he's left her in a tough position. Because not only does she suffer from multiple sclerosis, she's a single mother struggling to raise two daughters, one of whom has a traumatic brain injury. Being out of work with the burden of a chronic health condition and the responsibility of caring for two children doesn't worry her, though. She's hopeful that she'll have a new job lined up by July. “Am I worried about having health insurance for my kids? There are some concerns there, but no fear,” Dunnings told the Sun-Times. And Dunnings is right to have no fear, considering the county's expansive and well-managed public health care system. Since her tenure as the county's financial steward helped keep many neighborhood clinics open, all of which are easily accessible by public transportation, Dunnings needn't worry about having to head all the way to the Medical District to see a doctor at the County Hospital. Welcome to Cook County, Donna Dunnings! It's a great place to live when you're not a patronage worker.