Cook County commissioner wants family hiring ban

January 18, 2011

Download Story

Cook County commissioners are expected to debate an ordinance that would ban officials from hiring friends or relatives. The county government has long had a reputation for nepotism. Recently  Assessor Joe Berrios hired two relatives soon after he took over the office.

A federal court order bans political or personal matters from factoring into hiring decisions, but there are exceptions to that rule.

Cook County Commissioner Earlean Collins, D-Chicago, said hiring friends and family members is a problem and the practice should be stopped.

"My God, we've got some people got hiring their kids and their grandkids and other folks, too. You know, working their relatives and friends. I mean, that's how it goes. Let's be real about it. Let's cut it out. If you're going to stop it, let's cut it out," Collins said.

Collins has proposed an ordinance adding broad language to the county's ethics code that would ban officials from hiring family members or friends.

The full county board meets Wednesday.