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Friday, April 24, 2009

Tony Cole: From Bus Boy to Patronage: Gotta Love Cook County

Introduction: If you are out of work or struggling to stay on time with your bills, you are definitely not going to like this story.

This time last year Tony Cole was a bus boy making about $10 an hour. Currently, he is out of work. In between then though, he has travelled an employment road very few will travel. In November last year, he was offered an administrative assistant position with the Cook County government. That job paid about $48,000 a year. He was then the administrative assistant for the Chief Financial Officer of Cook County, Donna Dunnings. Dunnings is the cousin of Todd Stroger, President of Cook County. ( I would be remissed if I didn't remind everyone that President Obama endorsed Stroger for this post in 2006) Stroger raised some eye brows when he appointed his cousing to the six figure position of CFO but then again, in Cook County, the eye brows were relatively low.

Within weeks of moving into the County Government, Cole received a pay raise to nearly $60,000 a year. Then, on February 1, 2009, he was promoted into the human resources department of the Highway Department. He also received another small pay raise to just over $61,000 a year.

The story only begins there. In November 20th of 2008, Cole was arrested and bailed out of jail by Eugene Millins, a childhood friend of Stroger's. The credit card of Donna Dunnings was used to bail him out. That same day, the FBI finished a background check that they faxed to the County. It listed to prior criminal convictions by Cole that he didn't list on his application. Then, the State Police finished their on February 20th and also sent that to the County. Then, about a month after this Dunnings again bailed Cole out of jail on another arrest.

Yet, only two weeks ago, when the inspector general completed his report, did Stroger finally fire Cole. When the story caught on, he also fired his cousin. In the meantime, Stroger can't seem to keep his story straight. He has insisted that he only recently found out about the criminal background check even though multiple agencies claim they informed him months ago. He also claims he only knew about one arrest even though his own cousin bailed out Cole.

All is not lost here. I am happy to report that this story is on the top half of page one of the Chicago Tribune today. The Trib is taking this seriously. Furthermore, the Tribune has been keeping a running clock until the primary in February of 2010 following the sales tax increase. They have definitely put Stroger in their cross hairs and have decided to take him on and they won't bury any of his misdeeds deep in their newspaper.

There is some cynicism here as well. Stroger isn't merely corrupt but a buffoon. To take him on is to pick the easy target. The same Tribune is loathe to report on too much corruption by the likes of Richard M. Daley. That's because Daley is extremely shrewd as well as corrupt. Taking on Stroger is all good and well, but to take on corruption, the media must take on all its forms and not simply pick and choose the easiest target.


Anonymous said...

My can make 10 dollars an hour as a busboy?! I've met college grads who made that much!

Anonymous said...

Crazy story...
But it really didn't go into who Tony Cole "The bus boy" is.
That's the same kid who was on ESPN ratting out the University of Ga. Head Basketball Coaches Jim Harrich Sr. and Jr.. After he took improper bennifits. He turned around and told on everyone. Once he was dismissed from the team for a rape charge. Which wasn't his fist strike...

Having met and spent days together with Tony via basketball. I'm not surprised at any of this.
Well spoken, neat, very polite, very charismatic. and very confident. Very believable when he speaks.
"Shit he sounds like a politicion."

On top of all that he had enough talent to be in the NBA. I've seen him destroy NBA players with my own 2 eyes. But you wouldn't think it if you saw him because he's about 5'9ish. But there is something in that head of his that seem to seek out evil.
Gonna Pray for Tony

Anonymous said...

Rape! Theft! Fraud! The only thing Cole doesn't have on his rap sheet is murder! Not YET at least! Tony Cole is evil to the core! He's destroyed everything and everyone who's extended a hand to help him.

The world is a better place with Tony Cole in jail for life!

Anonymous said...

i really know Tony Cole. He is all they say about him and more. This dude thinks that we owe him something, which we came up the same way.We didnt have alot, thats why our moms staied on us to want more and to do better. It was his choice not to do right and try and beat the system. The things he went though as a child and now as an adult he put his self though. And to have someone to help you and you turn around and rat them out because he wasnt even pose to be at a unvi. because he was in special education from the 5th grade up til high school. This person brought this on his self.And this isnt what someone told me i know him personally. He is a hateful selfish man that thinks thw world owes him something and we dont

Anonymous said...

Yeah to the person that knows him personally he seems that way on FB...very arrogant....has too much time to post and people rarely respond...i had to stop looking at his posts....he could have gone really far....just made bad choices. . Its never too late