Watchdog: Todd Stroger official coerced contributions from Cook County workers

Ex-facilities head James D’Amico resigned in November in wake of allegations

By Hal Dardick, Tribune reporter

A high-ranking Cook County official from a prominent Democratic family retired late last year after the county’s chief internal watchdog recommended he be fired for coercing government workers into donating to the campaign of then-County Board President Todd Stroger.

James D’Amico, the brother of a state lawmaker and nephew of an alderman, conceded he was the subject of a county inspector general’s probe but denied the fundraising allegations.

“I was investigated so many times, it was kind of ridiculous,” D’Amico said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “That’s one of the reasons I retired in the first place.”

“You’re under a microscope in government,” he added. “I’m glad I got my 30 years and got the hell out of there.”

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