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Hiring in Cook County Still in Question

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A federally appointed monitor has submitted a progress report on the push to clean up political hiring in Cook County government. The grades are mixed. Chicago Public Radio’s Ben Calhoun reports.

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Former Judge Julia Nowicki was appointed last year to make sure the county follows the Shakman decree -- that’s the ban on political and patronage hiring that covers most Cook County and City of Chicago jobs.

Today, Nowicki submitted her second report, which begins with some good things. For example, she praises some county officials for voicing their support for clean hiring and says the county’s doing a good job of training employees on hiring rules.

But the report goes on to describe anecdotal evidence of “enduring patterns of patronage” hiring-as well as incompetence, mismanagement and nepotism in county government. Besides monitoring county hiring, Nowicki’s also in charge of recommending monetary awards for people who say they got cheated because of patronage.

So far, she’s got 119 complaints, and reminds people that August 3rd is the deadline for anyone else who wants to submit one.

I’m Ben Calhoun, Chicago Public Radio

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