It's not like Todd Stroger is famous for being above board with his hiring strategy or, for that matter, the people he hires, fires, gives raises, makes his closest confidants, asks to fluff his pillows and warm his milk, etc. Which would explain, of course, why it comes as no surprise to most of Cook County that Stroger awarded contracts to at least two businesses that may or may not actually exist.
Two firms awarded contracts by Cook County President Todd Stroger's
administration can't be found on state or county business registries,
yet they received upfront payments in deals that investigators are now
looking at, according to state and county officials and documents
obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
The businesses aren't registered with the state or county as Cook
County requires, but that didn't stop officials from hiring the firms
this spring and quickly paying them to promote composting and other
energy conservation programs.
Do you get the sense that if you were to ask the Toddler what these two businesses were, he'd tell you something like, "My." and "Ass?" Except when he said it, he'd be all indignant and offended, like a Twilight star who just discovered the Internets? Because I do.
Honestly, Todd's not a total dumbass. He knew to at least make the contracts worth less than $25K, so they'd skate nicely underneath the county commission's watchful eye. What he didn't seem to notice was that certain key details of the contracts, once they came to light, would attract attention. One of these details was buried in a contract for public relations on a environmental policy awarded to a company called Urban Rapport (h/t Joe the Cop).
[A] check of state and county records shows that Urban Rapport, run by
convicted felon and hip-hop promoter Terrell "Shorty Capone" Harris,
isn't a registered businesses in Illinois -- a requirement of
businesses doing contract work for Cook County.
Actually, no one knows where Shorty Capone is actually registered, other than at Cook County Correctional. When reporters from Fox Chicago attempted to contact Shorty, the breadcrumb trail led them to CGC communications, owned by Carla Oglesby, who also happens to be Todd Strogers Chief of Staff and his spokesperson for his failed re-election bid in February. A second contract, coincidentally for the same sort of environmental public relations, was awarded to a company that Oglesby owned called Arrel Management that was apparently dissolved sometime in 2008. Ownership of Arrel is now claimed by a man named Mark Carter who is a whole barrel of fun all on his own.
And yes, all of these contracts were, totally coincidentally, awarded for just under $25K. Totally coincidentally. Absolutely. Totally.