In the nine months since his primary defeat rendered him a lame duck, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has violated county decrees, hired cronies and felons to political positions and overseen hundreds of thousands of dollars in unsupervised contracts to dummy companies owned by friends.
So it should come as no surprise that the executive known to some in the media as "the Toddler" has refused to play nice with his soon-to-be successor, Toni Preckwinkle.
For months, Stroger has refused to meet with Preckwinkle, as the incoming president prepares the transition of power. He broke the silence on Tuesday of this week, meeting with Preckwinkle for the first time. But it was a less than vibrant exchange of ideas.
Preckwinkle would only say it was "unfortunate" the session was "very short," but influential Commissioner John Daley, D-Chicago, was less subtle.
"It lasted eight to 10 minutes -- it was not good," said Daley, who said he had discussed the meeting with Preckwinkle.
Suffredin said Sheriff Tom Dart, Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown and the county's other countywide elected officials -- whose budgets are overseen by the board -- have been cooperative. "The only person who seems to have a problem is Todd Stroger, and he has 26 days left," [Commissioner Larry] Suffredin said Thursday.
Preckwinkle is proceeding with the transition without Stroger's help, assembling a diverse team of public figures, business leaders and others to help guide the process. And a frustrated County Board will demand at its next meeting that the heads of every county department detail the efforts they have taken to aid in the process.
Preckwinkle defeated Stroger in the four-way Democratic primary for the post in February of this year. She won a convincing victory with 50 percent of the vote; Stroger came in fourth place with a mere 13 percent.