U.S. attorney’s office asked to investigate Cicero
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org July 26, 2012 6:56PM
Cicero town president Larry Dominick leaves the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn, with wife Elizabeth at day's end Tuesday July 5, 2011. He is fighting a federal civil suit filed by plaintiff Merced Rojas. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times
Updated: August 28, 2012 6:22AM
A Cook County commissioner is asking the U.S. attorney’s office to investigate allegations by the wife of Cicero Town President Larry Dominick that more than 50 percent of the town’s department heads don’t show up to work regularly.
“If 50 percent of the highest-paid officials and directors in the Town of Cicero are not showing up to work while receiving full salary and benefits, we must take immediate action to end this fraudulent hiring scheme,” Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia wrote to Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro in a letter Thursday.
The letter comes in response to a story in the Chicago Sun-Times this week quoting Elizabeth Dominick as saying “more than 50 percent” of the town’s top-level employees do not show up to work on a regular basis.
Elizabeth Dominick made her remarks as she explained why she submitted her resignation this month as the director of the town’s health department, a job that paid her more than $80,000 a year. Larry Dominick hired his wife, a registered nurse, for the position soon after they were married in December 2006.
Elizabeth Dominick said she was leaving because of “horrific mental abuse” that she endured on the job.
Joining Garcia in the call for the investigation was Juan Ochoa, the former head of McPier, who is running for town president. Ochoa, who expects to be endorsed by Garcia, said he takes Elizabeth Dominick’s statement seriously.
“She’s clearly in a position to make the determination,” Ochoa said.
Cicero police officer Roberto “Bobby” Garcia, who also plans to run for Cicero Town president, said he supported an investigation, while Joseph Pontarelli, a former Cicero town employee who’s running for the job, could not be reached for comment.
Cicero Town Spokesman Ray Hanania said Thursday he would not dignify the “ridiculous charges” with a response.