Florida county hires official tied to Chicago scandal

October 15, 2009

Miami-Dade County has hired a former Chicago window company official near the center of an alleged scheme to loot the business, pilfer manufacturing gear and set up a new operation in Iowa. Former Republic Windows and Doors Chief Operating Officer Barry Dubin will earn $425 an hour to help turn around Jackson Health System, Miami-Dade's struggling system of hospitals and clinics, according to the Miami Herald. Dubin will serve as the system's chief restructuring officer over the next nine months, the newspaper reports. Cook County prosecutors last month charged Republic CEO Richard Gillman with defrauding company creditors and stealing cash from the firm. The indictment identifies an unnamed co-schemer as the company's chief operating officer. Republic shuttered its Goose Island plant last winter without federally mandated severance payments to the factory's roughly 240 employees. The workers, members of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), responded with a sit-in at the plant. The sit-in quickly became a national symbol of the nation's economic crisis. It ended six days later when two Republic creditors -- Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase -- agreed to pay the workers a combined $1.75 million. "Dubin is the last guy I'd want to see in charge of a hospital," says UE organizer Mark Meinster. I tried to reach Dubin on his cell phone Thursday evening. My message asks whether Cook County authorities have been in touch and whether he's the right fit for the Florida job. He hasn't returned the call.