Now Cook County Board Prez Stroger Sticks Taxpayers With $175,000 Contract Bill

-By Warner Todd Huston

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger’s last year in office is marked by one incident of bilking the taxpayers after another. Each week seems to bring a new example of Stroger and his buddies and family members sticking their hands in our pockets and this week has been no different.

In fact, this week we’ve gotten a twofer as two incidents of Stroger’s nest feathering have come to light. The first came on the 27th when Big Boss Todd awarded a $15,000 consulting job to Raymond L. Harris Sr., of Bolingbrook, who worked on Stroger’s losing primary campaign to retain his seat.

And now, only the next day, Cook County, home of the City of Chicago, was informed that the State of Illinois is refusing to pay $175,000 in no-bid contracts that President Stroger awarded to County insiders — one of them Stroger’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Carla Oglesby.

Worse, these no-bid contracts stand at the center of a criminal investigation.

Apparently, Stroger and pals told everyone involved that the contracts would be paid by federal grants, but that plan has proven illusory. And since the state has passed on the payoff, the contracts are now the responsibility of Cook County’s taxpayers.


As the investigation goes on, the taxpayers must foot the bill not only for the likely illicit contract payouts, but the investigation, too.

Welcome to the Chicago Way style of politics.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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