Tuesday, June 06, 2006

County Board to pick interim leader

The county board is taking a step in replacing all be it temporarily the ill John Stroger as President of the Cook County Board...

The Cook County Board will begin taking steps today to temporarily replace the ailing John Stroger as board president.

The move to name Bobbie Steele as interim president comes as a new report questions just how mentally aware Stroger is as he undergoes physical and mental rehabilitation from a March stroke.
Let's not forget that Stroger is still on the ballot to run against a Republican Challenger County Board Commissioner Tony Peraica...
Peraica is set to introduce a resolution today that establishes procedures for replacing a board member -- including president -- who is too ill to serve. Peraica's plan involves public hearings and subpoenas to doctors, with the board voting on the official's ability to serve.

Most commissioners find Peraica's resolution too abrasive, but will use its introduction as a launching point for Steele, a 20-year board member. If she gets the interim post, she would take over Stroger's governmental responsibilities, with the power to make personnel, spending and policy decisions.

"This needs to happen in a very dignified way because we're dealing with the end of someone's political career," said Suffredin, who has been helping gather board support for Steele.
The Reverend Jackson who apparently has requested to visit the ill John Stroger has been rebuffed by Stroger's wife, Yonnie. Jackson however, still had a quote in this article...

"The longer it takes to get a response from [John Stroger] or his doctor, the more evidence it is of the state of his health," said Jackson, whose son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., has a strained relationship with John Stroger.

While "the family's right to privacy must be respected," Jackson said the county "is not on hold; who's running the government?"
As for Stroger's health...
But Stroger's chief of staff, James Whigham, vehemently denies reports that his boss is profoundly disabled, saying "this is not a man sitting there blubbering," and Stroger is "not sitting there with drool coming down his mouth."

Whigham said as recently as Friday, he did small hand and leg exercises with Stroger as part of his ongoing therapy.

"He's not sunken, he's not drawn," Whigham continued. "When I left him Friday, he gave me a handshake as strong as any he's ever given me."

Sources say Stroger, 77, is carrying on conversations and is aware of his surroundings -- though they hesitate when asked if he can run a $3 billion
government.

Through a spokeswoman, Ald. Todd Stroger (8th) said his father is on a feeding tube and needs around-the-clock medical care.
County Board to pick interim leader from Chicago Sun-Times

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