Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hired Monday, gone Wednesday
Coveted county job given to girlfriend of commissioner -- but she only lasts 2 days

October 4, 2007

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger this week hired the girlfriend of his powerful ally, Commissioner William Beavers, for a coveted county job.

But after the Chicago Sun-Times began inquiring Wednesday about the hiring of Patty Young, she was taken off the payroll.

Both Young and Beavers initially denied she was a county employee, but other employees confirmed she had been working there.

Young later said she decided not to accept the job in the county Purchasing Department -- where she would have reported to the wife of Stroger's best friend -- because it didn't pay enough.

"The county offered me a job, but I decided not to take it," Young said. "I don't know who offered it to me, but it wasn't enough money, so I didn't take it. It's got to be the right situation."

By late Wednesday, though, a county spokeswoman confirmed Young had been tapped by Stroger as an administrative assistant and had worked from Monday until Wednesday, when "a mutual decision was reached to reverse the hire." The spokeswoman said Young won't be paid for the days she worked.

The county denied a request from the Sun-Times for a copy of Young's application or resume and refused to divulge her salary.

Young has been on stress leave from her job with the Chicago Department of Transportation since June.

A former co-worker told the Sun-Times recently that she "never wrote any citations, hardly did any work and spent most of her time in the office just walking around."

Young denies that but says she took the leave of absence after her boss allegedly harassed her with racist and sexist comments.

City officials couldn't be reached to say whether Young ever notified them of any change in her job status this week.

The county Purchasing Department where Young briefly worked is headed by Carmen Triche-Colvin, wife of state Rep. Marlow Colvin (D-Chicago). Stroger's cousin Vincent Jones is the top deputy of the department, which is responsible for contracts for county goods and services.

Commissioner Forrest Claypool bemoaned "the latest installment of the Todd Stroger friends and family hiring plan," adding that Young's hiring "is not surprising. It's Cook County-style nepotism and patronage."

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