Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin is calling on Board President Todd Stroger to resign following the abrupt departure of County Chief Financial Officer Donna Dunnings, who is also Stroger's cousin.
Dunnings resigned late Thursday night at Stroger's request over her ties to Tony Cole, a former county employee and convicted felon Stroger hired as a patronage worker-- then fired after the severity of his lengthy rap sheet came to light. Cole made what Stroger called "explosive allegations" about his ties to Dunnings.
Dunnings twice bailed Cole out of jail on charges of violating an ex-girlfriend's order of protection. Even after that, Cole was promoted to a $61,00-a-year personnel job in the county highway department, where he had access to employees' financial information, despite his felony for financial fraud.
Commissioner Tony Peraica, a frequent Stroger critic, has also called for Stroger's resignation.
Suffredin's letter to Stroger:
Dear President Stroger:
Unfortunately, the people of Cook County and I have lost total confidence in your ability to lead Cook County. I ask you to resign immediately so that the citizens of Cook County can regain confidence in their government and that citizens needing service will know they will be properly provided.
Today the Chief Financial Officer, Donna Dunnings resigned under a cloud of secrecy. She has been your top aide who is the architect of many of the programs that have raised questions about your lack of leadership. These programs include hiring of friends and family to unnecessary and expensive positions, proposing excessive taxation and borrowing without reforming the government and keeping the citizens of Cook County in the dark on important issues.
Transparency in government is essential to giving taxpayers confidence that their hard earned tax dollars are being wisely spent. Ms. Dunnings has been the de facto President of the County Board because you let her fill in the void caused by your lack of leadership. If you can ask her to resign then you should follow her lead and resign.
Illinois law does not allow for a recall of officials who have lost the confidence of their constituents so the only remedy is your resignation.