County Commissioners Worry About Cook County Leadership

April 6, 2006

"Some Cook County commissioners say they're concerned too many decisions are being made by the staff of ailing Board President John Stroger. Stroger suffered a stroke three weeks ago and has not been involved in county business since.

Commissioner Bobbie Steele says she wants it to remain clear that the board is in charge of policy decisions.

She says, ""I just think that we have to have a meeting of the minds and know that commissioners are the policy makers, and we need to respect that.""

Steele says she'll take her concerns to Stroger's chief of staff, James Whigham.

But Commissioner John Daley says Whigham has carefully balanced the roles of commissioners and staff in Stroger's absence.

He says, ""Today we had a board meeting, and the commissioners had ample opportunity to bring up anything they wanted to, and this issue was never raised.""

Whigham says no major decisions have been made in Stroger's absence.

Earlier this week, Stroger left the hospital and was transferred to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago."