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Anger Continues Over County CFO's Big Pay Raise


Mike Flannery

CHICAGO (CBS) There is more angry reaction Tuesday to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's decision to give a big pay raise to a top deputy -- a woman who also happens to be his first cousin.

CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports the raise that took Cook County Chief Financial Officer Donna Dunnings' annual salary up to $160,000 was approved by the County Board last month, along with substantial raises for other top assistants to Stroger.

Dunnings told CBS 2 she works hard and is better qualified than her predecessor, Tom Glazer.

"I have a master's degree from Northwestern University," Dunnings said. "I think Mr. Glazer went to the University of Illinois at Chicago. I've worked in county government for 20 years and moved up in various management positions."

Several Stroger administration critics said raises should not have been awarded as Cook County was increasing the sales tax to the highest in the nation.

One, though, did acknowledge Dunnings' work ethic.

"It's bad timing. It's bad form. It doesn't make sense," said Commissioner Mike Quigley. "But I will tell folks, in fairness, that she does work very hard."

County residents CBS 2 talked to Tuesday were uniformly upset by the combination of tax increases and official pay raises.

"It's like they have no compassion for the people who walk the streets and go to work every day," said Chicago resident Nosa Aluyi. "So, it's like they're looking out for themselves only."

"If they were gonna get a pay raise, they should have given pay raises to everyone in Chicago," said Chicago resident Nicole O'Cey.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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