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High Cost For Patronage At Forest Preserve

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Political patronage will cost the Cook County Forest Preserve District more than half a million dollars.

The Chicago Tribune reports a federal court watchdog on Wednesday ruled that about $556,000 should be divided among 105 people who were denied jobs, fired, or mistreated on the job.

Monitor Jan Carlson found that the abuses happened because of political patronage between June 1, 2005, and March 5, 2009, the Tribune reported.

The Forest Preserve District is controlled by the Cook County Board, but is a separate taxing body. When the Cook County Board meets to legislate on Forest Preserve issues, it is known as the Forest Preserve Board.

The late president John H. Stroger Jr. was at the helm until 2006, and his son, Todd Stroger, was in charge afterward, except for a short period in between when former Commissioner Bobbie Steele was serving as interim board president.

The report came out the same day that new County Board President Toni Preckwinkle named new top leaders at the executive office of the Forest Preserve, according to the Tribune.

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