Yellow bannanas being slipped on at Stroger Hospital, and Todd will have to send yellow roses to Commissioner Mike Quigley again because, Mike is really upset with Todd.
County worker slips on peel, taxpayers owe $4,110
May 16, 2007
STNG News Service
A banana peel has caused grief for the likes of Daffy Duck and Tom and Jerry.
Now, it has caused taxpayers to cough up thousands of dollars to a Cook County employee who says she was severely injured and missed months of work because she slipped on a banana peel.
Joyce Walker, a 27-year clerk at Stroger Hospital, said she slipped on a banana outside a bathroom in 2003. She missed 12 weeks of work and endured injections in her knee. On Tuesday, the county board approved paying her $4,110.
Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno called it "the first time in 12 years I’ve ever seen anybody injured" by slipping on a banana peel.
Commissioner Liz Gorman said "for as pathetic as it seems, it’s the cost of doing business."
Walker couldn’t be reached and her attorney, Barry Silver, declined comment.
So far this year, county taxpayers have paid $2.1 million for worker injuries.
Todd Stroger how does he get away with it?
Todd Stroger's office has made at least $20 million in changes to the 2007 Cook County budget without consulting the board, usurping its right to set spending priorities, a group of opposition commissioners said.
"This is an intrusion upon the legislative process. It is a violation of our rules and our laws," Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) said. "I think this is a hijacking of the county budget."
Among the changes were a $3.2 million cut in Stroger Hospital's budget and a $170,466 boost for the chief administrative officer's budget, said Commissioners Quigley, Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago) and Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston).
The 2007 budget was one of the most fiercely negotiated county budgets in memory, with the final vote coming Feb. 24 at 2:30 a.m. after marathon back-room trading. Quigley angered several of his usual board allies by siding with Stroger on the budget vote.
The final document avoided a tax increase by closing some county health clinics, restricting county health services and laying off 1,700 county workers.
The Daily Southtown reported in March that Stroger's office was restoring some of the eliminated positions by moving funding into jobs that were budgeted at $1. A full list of such positions never has been provided, despite repeated requests.
Quigley said Tuesday the changes to the negotiated budget went even further, according to the final budget document released in recent weeks.
Stroger's budget team, led by newly confirmed chief financial officer Donna Dunnings, ignored some of the amendments passed by the board while making additional changes never approved by commissioners.
"A cursory analysis of the budget ... details at least $20 million worth of alterations that took place without any authority or discussion with the board of Cook County," Quigley said. "If the president is allowed to do this ... he can rewrite the whole thing."
Quigley handed out a five-page list of what he said were discrepancies between what the board voted on and what Stroger's office now says is in the budget.
At Quigley's request, the state's attorney's office issued a legal opinion saying the president's office cannot make "substantive changes" to the budget after it passes.
Stroger's office did not dispute the legal opinion but said any changes made were not substantive, just cleanup from the chaotic budget process.
"There existed 127 amendments," Velazquez said. "The annual appropriation bills have always included language which allowed the budget director and the budget department to fix any mathematical errors, any inconsistencies in the amendments."