Weather Updates

Todd Stroger blames accounting error for $500,000 missing from campaign reports

Todd Stroger | Sun-Times files

Todd Stroger | Sun-Times files

storyidforme: 40731544
tmspicid: 1153159
fileheaderid: 828769

Updated: December 28, 2012 6:29AM

Former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is blaming an accounting error for the sudden disappearance of $500,000 from his campaign filings this year without an accompanying explanation of where the money went.

The money, which was left over from the campaign in which Stroger lost re-election to current board president Toni Preckwinkle, was invested in Amalgamated Bank by Friends for Todd H. Stroger for President of the Cook County Board campaign. The money appeared on campaign filings in the first quarter of the year but wasn’t reported in the second quarter, said Jim Tenuto, assistant executive director at the Board of Elections.

A board staffer noticed the discrepancy and sent Stroger a letter asking what happened to the money, “which is something we routinely do,” said Tenuto. “This is not an investigation or an accusation, it was more of an administrative issue,” he said.

Stroger said Monday evening the money was used to pay campaign bills and an accounting error was to blame for the discrepancy.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, and campaign funds always get screwed up because you’re really dealing with people who are working on a volunteer basis, which isn’t as good as if you could afford to pay a CPA every year,” said Stroger.

“I’ll have to get all the paperwork from the bank and go through it and see what the problem was,” said Stroger. “One of the filings has to have missed some money that was spent,” he said.

Stroger’s political committee had nearly $112,000 in available funds on Sept. 30, according to his latest report.

Stroger added that after initial consideration, he’s decided not to run for the congressional seat Jesse Jackson Jr. just vacated.

“I’ve been away from my family for the last 18 years, and I’d like to spend some time with my children [ages 9 and 12] before they get old and move out of the house.”

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.