Cook County officials said Wednesday they do not know who hired a woman who is accused of lying about her criminal past and stealing more than $180,000 from the county.
Board President John Stroger said ultimate authority lies with him, even as he denied allegations from county prosecutors that some of his chief aides installed Shirley Glover in her county job over the objection of department heads.
“I don’t think that occurred,” Stroger said. “No one has forced anyone to hire anyone who was not qualified.”
Asked who recommended Glover be hired, Stroger and his chief of staff, James Whigham, said they didn’t know.
“We’re talking about seven or eight years ago,” Stroger said.
County prosecutors said last week that Glover “systematically looted” the President’s Office of Employment Training, where she was hired as fiscal manager in 1998.
Through manipulation of grant money and county bank accounts, Glover used the money to throw lavish parties for co-workers, pay for political signs for Stroger and others, and for her own personal expenses, prosecutors said.
Cook County State’s Attorney Dick Devine said he would continue to investigate how Glover got the job.
Prosecutors with Devine’s office said former chief administrative officer Albert Pritchett and his deputy, Gerald Nichols, now a special assistant to Stroger, “ordered” officials to hire Glover. POET’s director objected because he wanted to promote a current employee, prosecutors said.
Stroger said prosecutors don’t understand the hiring process and should not have accused Pritchett or Nichols of wrongdoing.
“This lady’s been all over the world pulling con jobs on people,” Stroger said. “But that doesn’t make the people upstairs bad guys. . . Anybody who knows Al Pritchett knows he would not be (hiring unqualified people) for me or nobody.”
Records show Glover has 10 prior convictions for crimes, all in the 1970s and ‘80s, ranging from forgery to armed robbery.