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Stroger Patronage Controversy Continues

By Kevin Robinson in News on May 1, 2009 7:20PM

County Commissioner Tim Schneider tried to publicly ask Board President Todd Stroger about the ongoing Donna Dunnings-Tony Cole controversy last week. Stroger told Schneider that he's meet with him privately to answer any questions he might have. That meeting has yet to happen, the Sun-Times is reporting.

"He shut me up by saying he'd meet me in private. Now, I don't know if he had any intention of answering any of my questions at all," Schneider told the Sun-Times. He's repeatedly asked Stroger for the meeting, and even sent eight questions to Stroger's office. "The longer the questions stay out there, the more people are skeptical that there's not some smoking gun here," he said. "We're no closer to the truth today than we were two weeks ago." Stroger fired his cousin earlier this month when he learned that the Sun-Times was about to publish an expose about Dunning's relationship with Cole.

The lack of answers about what Stroger knew and when he knew it may not be the only problems the Stroger clan is facing. The county public defender's office has asked the judge in the case to remove their attorneys, claiming that Cole can afford his own representation. He's being held in lieu of $200,000 bail for violating the terms of his parole. The county defender wants Cole to use that bail money to pay for an attorney. Initially it was reported that Dunnings bailed Cole out of jail twice, although recently revealed records indicate that she actually posted bail for him four times.

With the county board elections happening early next year, Stroger may be facing a tough challenge for re-election, and the longer this scandal lingers, the harder it is to imagine that he'll be able to run a credible campaign. Let's hope that if he does publicly answer Schneider's questions, it's not as weird and awkward as his interview with CBS2's Mike Flannery.