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Preckwinkle Wants Big Raise For Cook County Employee

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Photo Of Toni Preckwinkle. (cookcountytransition.com Photo)

Photo Of Toni Preckwinkle. (cookcountytransition.com Photo)

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UPDATED 02/14/11 8:43 a.m.

CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – The second in charge at the Cook County Forest Preserve District could see a substantial increase in salary if Board President Toni Preckwinkle has her way.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel Reports

Mary Laraia holds the title of “Executive Assistant to the Superintendent” of the Cook County Forest Preserve.

Laraia is making $111,098 a year now, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Preckwinkle wants to boost her salary more than $43,000 to $155,172, the newspaper reported.

The general superintendent said Laraia’s duties are expanding, including a title change to “Deputy Superintendent”, and that is one of the reasons he said she deserves a raise.

Laraia and her husband, city Community Development Department Commissioner Andrew J. Mooney, have been regular contributors to Preckwinkle. Laraia contributed $2,250 to Preckwinkle’s campaign for County Board president last year, the Sun-Times reported.

Preckwinkle says the county is “lucky to have” Laraia.

But county Commissioner Elizabeth Ann Doody Gorman (R-17th) questioned the pay boost and said it leads to the question of whether “longtime contributors (are) being rewarded,” the Sun-Times reported.

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