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James D'Amico, John D'Amico's brother cops a smoke Election Day

James D'Amico.jpg James D'Amico, brother of State Rep. John "Hired Trucks" D'Amico and nephew of the Laurino Clan, enjoys a cigarette while getting out the vote. The States Attorney was called because the D'Amico boys get mighty close to the entrance doors during the elections. I am glad to see Todd Stroger picked a smoker to handle medicial issues for the County. Aunty Laurino must be proud of her Clout boys. Exhale James D'Amico. Please read the extended post, click below! Photo by Patrick McDonough.
Cronyism is the star of Stroger's hiring show May 20, 2008 The front page news Monday was Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's hiring of two men with criminal records. We have no quarrel with Stroger on that. Both men paid their dues more than a decade ago, and neither was convicted of a hanging offense -- one admitted to involvement in a club fight, the other to making threatening phone calls. America is about second chances, and Cook County government should be no different. More practically, if you impose a ban on hiring people who made dumb mistakes when they were young, you eliminate a lot of good possible hires. But this is not a story about redemption, a tale to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling. This is a story about clout. Both men -- James D'Amico and Myron Colvin -- are the brothers of state lawmakers. One of them, state Rep. Marlow Colvin, is also Stroger's best friend. Yes, taxpayers, what we have is yet another episode in the "Todd Stroger Friends and Family Show." Regular readers of this page may be growing tired of the show, as are we, but just try to move on. The "Todd Stroger Friends and Family Show" is like one of those cable TV shows that always pops up. No matter what channel you turn to, there it is. Sort of like "Law and Order," except the good guys don't always win. When Chicago Sun-Times reporter Steve Patterson asked for the resumes of the two men last week, the Stroger administration wouldn't cough them up. That was just the latest instance of the administration's refusing to provide resumes. In effect, the Stroger administration is telling taxpayers: Really, these are good, qualified hires. Just trust us. If only we could. Stroger spokesman Eugene Mullins gave the usual response that his boss could hire whomever he wanted to fill the two vacancies, because the jobs don't fall under a court decree banning patronage hiring. True enough, but doing what's technically legal is not the same as doing what's right. Stroger supporters can point to as many other politicians as they like who hire friends and family and question why the Stroger administration takes so many knocks. Stroger, though, gets the attention because he has seemingly perfected cronyism in such a short time in office. We would love nothing more than to never write about this again. But this looks like one show destined to go on forever.

Comments

Hey Pat,
I happened to drive by going to my assigned Precinct in the Levar Ward, (working against Mr.Levar)
First I seen the State Rep.
Mr.D'Amico walking in the election place, so I pulled over, and guess what I seen!
he was touching and placeing the Ballots on the voting tables, which is against election rules, then I see Mr. Jimmy electioneering right in front of the place within 10 feet of the front door!!
So I called election central on him, the cops came over, Jimmy said something to them and then they harrased me, there is nothing wrong here, stop calling. I said ok I will call the newspapers then!
jimmy stopped for a while, then he started again so I asked for the states attny. to do something, finnally some one came from that office, Jimmy got smart with the guy from the States attny. office, the guy must of been scared of Jimmy, So I told him you scared of this guy? "call for backup I am here to be a witness for you" but the guy just warned Jimmy not to do it again. so Jimmy said some nasty comments to him, as he left, then he turned to me threating me "I take you to the alley" So I told him I would not even waste my time with garbage in the alley.
This guy was not scared of anything, Aunty would save him?

Investigation Reveals Non-Essential Cook County Workers Get Cars

Last Edited: Thursday, 24 Jul 2008, 9:57 PM CDT
Created: Thursday, 24 Jul 2008, 9:57 PM CDT


Is it a requirement of the job, or an expensive perk? Fox News and the Better Government Association have obtained a partial list of employees who are taking home County cars. Commissioner Forrest Claypool says, "Cars have long been a political perk for connected people. It's one of the candy store goodies politicians love to give out."

While more than a thousand County cars are assigned to law enforcement and emergency responders, others are being given to politically-connected workers and big campaign contributors. Jay Stewart with the Better Government Association said one name stuck out -- the law librarian, Bennie Martin. Martin is a steady contributor to the 8th Ward Democratic organization as well as the late Cook County president, John Stroger and his son, current president Todd Stroger. Stewart says he was "stupefied" that the librarian needed a car adding, "I can literally not think of a single legitimate reason, what there was an emergency law review article you have to file in the middle of the night? I don't think so!"

Other employees also have take-home cars. Bruce Washington is the director of Capital Planning and a long-time Stroger family friend. James D'Amico is the assistant director of Facilities Management and brother of a state representative and nephew of an alderman. Neither man had any comment. New County Comptroller, John Morales says he needs a car because he also has financial duties at Stroger Hospital. Still others say they are on call 24-hours a day and need to be able to take a county car home. Highway Administrator Augie Olivo has a car. He is the brother of 13th ward alderman Frank Olivo. Jail Business Manager, Bryon Steele also takes home a car. He is the son of former Board president, Bobbie Steele and brother of Commissioner, Robert Steele. Robert Steele says his brother is on 24-hour call, so if anything goes wrong at the jail, he has to be responsible for getting back to the jail to make sure it's taken care of right away."

Cook County Chief Financial Officer, Donna Dunnings says she plans to conduct a through review of who's getting take-home cars and tighten standards. She says politics should have nothing to do with who gets a car, "Because one is born into a family that is political that does not mean they are not qualified or they shouldn't be given whatever is needed to perform that assignment.

Dunnings, herself part of a political family says she does not have a take-home car.

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