Cook County Jail inmate collapses, dies at hospital

May 22, 2008

A 51-year-old Cook County Jail inmate arrested on retail theft charges died Wednesday after collapsing at a hospital.

Cook County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Penny Mateck said an inmate who was being released from Stroger Hospital collapsed and died Wednesday.

Stanislaw Wolak, an inmate at the jail, died while in police custody, the Cook County medical examiner's office said. He was pronounced dead at Stroger at 8:03 p.m.

The inmate was brought into the jail Monday after being arrested on retail theft charges. He was being held on $2,000 bond, Mateck said.

After being booked into the jail Monday, he was taken to Stroger Hospital for an unknown reason. He was released from the hospital Wednesday and, under the supervision of two corrections officers, was set to return to the jail at 2700 S. California Ave.

However, he collapsed in the hallway of the hospital as he was leaving, according to Mateck.

Cronyism is the star of Stroger's hiring show

May 20, 2008
The front page news Monday was Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's hiring of two men with criminal records.

We have no quarrel with Stroger on that.

Both men paid their dues more than a decade ago, and neither was convicted of a hanging offense -- one admitted to involvement in a club fight, the other to making threatening phone calls.

America is about second chances, and Cook County government should be no different.

More practically, if you impose a ban on hiring people who made dumb mistakes when they were young, you eliminate a lot of good possible hires.

But this is not a story about redemption, a tale to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling.

This is a story about clout.

Both men -- James D'Amico and Myron Colvin -- are the brothers of state lawmakers. One of them, state Rep. Marlow Colvin, is also Stroger's best friend.

Yes, taxpayers, what we have is yet another episode in the "Todd Stroger Friends and Family Show."

Regular readers of this page may be growing tired of the show, as are we, but just try to move on. The "Todd Stroger Friends and Family Show" is like one of those cable TV shows that always pops up. No matter what channel you turn to, there it is. Sort of like "Law and Order," except the good guys don't always win.

When Chicago Sun-Times reporter Steve Patterson asked for the resumes of the two men last week, the Stroger administration wouldn't cough them up. That was just the latest instance of the administration's refusing to provide resumes.

In effect, the Stroger administration is telling taxpayers: Really, these are good, qualified hires. Just trust us.

If only we could.

Stroger spokesman Eugene Mullins gave the usual response that his boss could hire whomever he wanted to fill the two vacancies, because the jobs don't fall under a court decree banning patronage hiring.

True enough, but doing what's technically legal is not the same as doing what's right.

Stroger supporters can point to as many other politicians as they like who hire friends and family and question why the Stroger administration takes so many knocks.

Stroger, though, gets the attention because he has seemingly perfected cronyism in such a short time in office.

We would love nothing more than to never write about this again.

But this looks like one show destined to go on forever.


  1. SP Biloxi said...
    "The front page news Monday was Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's hiring of two men with criminal records."

    And you think this clown is going to stay in office as the CC Prez?
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    Yep, there is the machine still in place in Chicago.....yep it's the voting machine and he has their votes.
    Urbanleftbehind said...
    If only Wolak had died three weeks earlier...there could have been a Constitution Day drinking-fueled Polish mob after Urkel!
    KittyBowTie1 said...
    Umm, compared to friends and family, those with the criminal records might actually do better. They already know if they get caught doing anything it's back to the pokey. Friends and family have a much better chance of getting away with something.
    Anonymous said...
    Whats happened to this blog? I miss her postings.
    Hope u are ok.
    Anonymous said...
    Where is ms 3d generation? I miss her.

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