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Cook County Patronage Watchdog Quits, Cites Stroger Resistance

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CHICAGO - A federal hiring monitor says efforts by Cook County Board President Todd Stroger to eradicate illegal patronage hiring is moving too slowly.

Julia Nowicki made the assertion is a six-page letter to county commissioners, adding it will be at least 18 more months before the federal courts find that monitoring of Cook County hiring is no longer needed.

Nowicki announced Monday she is leaving the post to concentrate on her private law practice. She said commissioners can push Stroger to take steps to eliminate the perception patronage continues to hobble county government.

Stroger spokesman Eugene Mullins said Monday "perception is not reality."

During her tenure, Nowicki awarded $3 million to people who didn't get jobs and promotions because of politics. She will be replaced by Mary Robinson, former administrator of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com