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Hiring risk director proves risky for Stroger
By Ted Cox | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 4/1/2010 12:00 AM

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The Stroger administration is on damage control again after almost hiring a director of risk management who was accused of mismanagement at a previous job with the Detroit Public Schools.

Cook County's Chief Financial Officer Jaye Williams extended an offer to Stephen Hill to become the director, and he eventually cleared a background process by Human Resources Director Joe Sova, although Sova never interviewed him personally, according to Stroger spokesman Gene Mullins.

Yet, an 11th-hour Google search by President Todd Stroger and Chief of Staff Joe Fratto turned up Detroit Free Press articles indicating that Hill was being sued by the school district for allegedly running a $57 million scam and accepting kickbacks.

By the time the Free Press called Stroger's office Tuesday to confirm the hiring, the administration was in the process of pulling the job offer off the table before Hill could formally accept it.

The position was exempt under the Shakman Decree, Mullins said, so Hill "has no legal means" to sue, even if he had been formally hired.

Stroger was previously embarrassed by Tony Cole, who had to be fired after he was hired despite a previous felony conviction he did not reveal to employers.