September 2008 Archives

Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley's chief of staff Kimberly Walz once was a beauty queen -- Miss Freeport, Ill. -- and now she's a finalist in's Posie Gal Contest.

While getting a free makeover at a Sephora store on Michigan Avenue, Walz told the story of her most embarrassing date ever. Her tale of first date woe involves dinner, a leaky water bra and a rather crude comment from a guy she never went out with again.

Watch it here and then vote for her at . Walz could win a dream date for two to Hawaii and a year's supply of makeup.

Here's a few tidbits from Wednesday's Cook County Board meeting that got squeezed out of Thursday's edition for space reasons.

I'll keep it short.

Cook County commissioners Wednesday unanimously agreed to pay $3.2 million to 105 county workers who were victims of political discrimination. Julia Nowicki, the federal court-appointed hiring watchdog, said she would not release the names of employees set to split the payout until each person is notified of how much they will be awarded. That should take about two weeks. In a statement, Nowicki said the affected employees are "not the only instances of illegal patronage" in county government. They "represent only those claims that met the criteria" of the federal court order.

And ..

Companies with Cook County contracts will now be required disclose the names of all investors who own more than a 5 percent stake in the business. The information will be kept in an on-line database. The measure, authored by Commissioner Forrest Claypool, was approved in a 12-2 vote.

There was quite a debate on the Claypool's "sunshine" measure. Republican commissioner Greg Goslin - who was being supported by Stroger Democrats on this one -- tried to push a substitute ordinance that wouldn't have published the database on-line.
Stroger's administration also made what turned out to be a bogus claim that it would cost $2.5 million to create the database. That figure was debunked by the county's head of information technology.
The Claypool measure ultimately won -- Goslin even voted for it. And in 180 days, we'll all be able to see who really has an ownership stake in companies doing business with Cook County. Should be interesting. Stay tuned.

Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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