Opening up a can of worms for Stroger

From bad to worse each day

Todd Stroger either should be running around like a scared chicken now, or one with it's head cut off.
Donna Dunnings is concerned now about her health insurance. Well, why should she be? Her cousin is in charge of the John Stroger Hospital? Didn't Donna do what she could for the county while she was CFO to insure that the health care was properly budgeted for? Didn't she make sure that they received all the insurance payments they were to receive? As CFO she surely looked to be sure that all the contracts they were paying on were legitimate and they were making all payments on time to get the discounts? Ya, right. Donna welcome to Cook County Health Care.
The meeting Todd had with his cousin was only 20 minutes? Maybe he left because of the whining, crying and foul language?
Each and every day this Dunnings/Cole/Stroger fiasco gets uglier. The Cook County Commissioners should look at impeachment if that is possible. Why not, two impeachments in one year for this state? Would we be breaking records?

April 22, 2009 1:56 PM | 1 Comment
A judge today raised bond for fired Cook County employee Tony Cole to $200,000 after probation officers testified about three violations of a protective order, including a profanity-filled tirade against the officers when they visited his apartment.

Cole's new lawyer raised questions about the high number of times that probation officers checked up on Cole, who was on home confinement on charges related to a domestic violence case. Officers visited his home at least 66 times in 64 days, court officials said.

Of those 66 visits, Cole was judged non-compliant eight times, Circuit Judge James Patrick Murphy said.

Murphy said the noncompliance incidents were happening with greater frequency recently, causing him alarm.

Cole's bond had been set at $50,000 in January, according to prosecutors.

Cole, a onetime steakhouse busboy with a criminal record, was hired by Cook County Board President Todd Stroger but then fired earlier this month from his position as a $61,189-a-year human resources assistant in the county Highway Department.

In a mushrooming political scandal, Stroger's cousin Donna Dunnings, the county's chief financial officer, resigned at his request last week. Stroger said Dunnings was the target of "explosive" allegations by Cole.

Stroger repeatedly has refused to say what those allegations were. Earlier today, Stroger visited Dunnings at her home but refused to talk to a reporter.

Cole was charged last year with domestic battery for allegedly striking his girlfriend. He also allegedly violated an order of protection twice by harassing her at home. He was released after a November arrest after Donna Dunnings, then the county's chief financial officer, posted his $1,000 bail.

In January, his bail was increased to $40,000 after he allegedly made threatening phone calls to his ex-girlfriend. Once again Dunnings posted his additional bail of $3,000.

This month, Coles was not at home as required when authorities made an unannounced visit. He was arrested April 14 and has been in jail since then.

That was the latest episode in a yearslong pattern of allegations involving violence against women.

But it was a felony conviction in Georgia for bouncing a rent check that Coles failed to disclose on his job application that led Stroger to fire him and later Dunnings.

Both Dunnings and Cole have denied any physical relationship.

Cole, a former college basketball player, was working as a busboy at Ruth's Chris Steak House where he met Stroger, who later put him on the county payroll last October as an administrative assistant earning $48,289 a year.

He later was promoted to human resources assistant in the County Highway Department at $61,189 a year.

Donna Dunnings surprised she lost her post?Cook County Board President Todd Stroger today visited the cousin he dumped last week from her top financial post in his administration.

Stroger spent about 20 minutes at Donna Dunnings' home and declined to comment to a reporter as he left.

"I don't speak to reporters camped out outside people's houses," he said. Then he got into a county SUV with a bodyguard and driver and they pulled away.

Dunnings, until last Thursday the county's chief financial officer, came out shortly after Stroger left. She waved at a Tribune reporter who asked her to talk, got into a car and left.

In an interview published today in the Chicago Sun-Times, Dunnings said that while her firing shocked her, she still loved her cousin and harbored him no ill will. But she expressed concern about her financial future and lack of health insurance.


  1. Anonymous said...
    This whole thing is a bit sad. Meanwhile, Claypoole is pouring gasoline onto the fire.
    KittyBowTie1 said...
    There is something called COBRA for the unemployed. She made enough at her overpaid job to go buy it.
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    So true Kitty and now she only has to pay 35%.
    She is much better off than most who loose thier jobs, but who knows what else she spent her money on beside bailing out Cole.
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    And Anon, yes Forrest Claypool needs to wake some folks up, we can't have Toddler win the Dem primary or it will be another 4 years of Toddler.

    It scares me to think if this is just scratching the surface of uncovering what went on during the Toddler reign.

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