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Stroger Items, Including Diary, On Auction Block — But No Sale

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CHICAGO (STMW) – Political and personal items of the late Cook County Board president John Stroger and his son Todd were bid up to $3,750 at auction this morning, but failed to sell because the top bid failed to meet an undisclosed minimum price set by the seller.

The items, which included a signed letter from President Bill Clinton, two Bulls Championship replica rings, a diary kept by Todd Stroger and numerous personal keepsakes came from a South Side storage locker.

Its contents were sold in April to Chicagoan Chris Amer for $450 after storage fees were not paid.

Amer fielded a couple of offers for the items but decided to put them up for auction at Bunte Auctions in Elgin, Kevin Bunte told the Chicago Sun-Times before the auction started at 11 a.m.

The Stroger items drew interest from only two bidders: Chicagoan Bob Remer, who attended in person, and an unknown online bidder.

Remer dropped out at $3,500 and the online bidder stopped after bidding $3,750.

Auctioneer Bunte then announced the bid had not met the minimum.

“I hope it goes to a good place,” said Remer, who said he was a Chicago history buff.

Gavels, photos — including one with Stroger and former President Bill Clinton — awards and even two replica Chicago Bulls championship rings that apparently belonged to the former Cook County board president were among the treasures.

The locker was at Metro Self Storage at 87th and Dobson — directly across the street from WVON radio, where Todd Stroger hosts a radio show. Stroger dodged questions about the items this spring, and during an interview with the Sun-Times this past week, he again sidestepped questions about who rented the locker.

Stroger did tell the Sun-Times that he attempted to buy some of the items back, but it didn’t pan out.

“All I can tell you is I tried to contact that young man,” who bought the locker. “We were supposed to meet twice, and he never showed up,” said Stroger, who succeeded his father as county board president in 2006.

“People who never called me, called me about that incident. They were like ‘oh, man, we’ve got to get the stuff back,’” Stroger said, noting that he’s had other things on his mind, including his battle to find full-time work since he lost a bid for re-election in 2010. “I’ve got a wife and two kids. They’ve got to eat, go to school and everything else.”

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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