Is Todd Stroger serious?
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has another high-level adviser: Sean Howard, who a few months ago resigned from the Stroger campaign in embarrassment after being arrested for allegedly stalking a girlfriend.
Howard, 39, is the new director of public affairs for the county hospital system. He's the longtime spokesman for Bishop Larry Trotter, a spiritual adviser to the Stroger family who has been a vocal political supporter of Stroger.
Howard, of Crete, will make $85,000 a year. He resigned as spokesman for the village of Dolton and the Shaw political family.
His hiring comes as county health clinics are closing and medical staff is being laid off because of budget cuts.
"At what point will Todd Stroger invest in the frontline workers who make the system run?" asked Sheilah Garland-Olaniran of the National Nurses Organizing Committee. "Has he looked at what the mission of the county hospital says? Who are we supposed to serve?"
But county spokesman Andre Garner said Howard is filling an existing job and will "be working on broad policy issues" with county health bureau chief Robert Simon.
Stroger insisted last year that Howard would have no role with his campaign after his arrest. The charges were dropped after the victim, a county jail guard, refused to pursue them.
Howard also was named in a recent lawsuit filed by a developer, who says he was pressured to hire Howard at $150,000 a year if he wanted to do business in Dolton.
Howard did not return calls on Tuesday for comment.