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Ex-transportation official picked to replace Beavers on County Board

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Updated: May 13, 2013 6:20AM

Not ten minutes after taking the oath of office Thursday to replace the convicted former Cook County Commissioner William Beavers, Stanley Moore found himself answering questions about his own alleged ethics violation and the public perception it creates.

A Cook County Democratic committee chose Moore to replace Beavers from a field of a dozen candidates, including former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. The candidates made presentations and answered questions at Mr. G’s Supperclub and Entertainment Center on the South Side.

The public process took more than two hours — longer than it took a federal jury last month to convict Beavers of using his campaign account as a slush fund to boost his pension and satisfy his gambling habit.

When it was over, records show, Moore secured 82 percent of the committee’s weighted vote, despite questions about a $3,000 ethics fine he paid earlier this week.

Illinois’ Executive Ethics Commission fined Moore in 2010 for engaging in political activity during work hours, records show, when he worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Moore answered questions about that fine before and after the vote. He said he asked for a change of venue so he could fight the allegations in Chicago instead of Springfield. It wasn’t granted, and he said he couldn’t afford to take witnesses Downstate.

He said his attorney told him it could cost him up to $20,000 to make his case and suggested he pay the fine and “move on.” He denied any guilt.

Chicago Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) defended Cook County’s new 4th District commissioner to reporters who peppered them both with questions about the fine.

“He was not convicted of any crime,” Brookins said.

Records show Moore had Brookins’ support Thursday. Brookins, whose own father threw his hat in the ring for the seat, wielded the most significant of the committee’s weighted votes.

Moore said he hopes his new constituency will “look at the future and the work that we do,” and he said he plans to run to keep the office in 2014. Brookins said that will give voters a chance to have their say.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle later issued a statement welcoming Moore to the board.

“The residents of the 4th District deserve an advocate with a strong sense of the community’s needs to represent them on the Board of Commissioners,” Preckwinkle said.

Most of the candidates who made their pitch to the board Thursday said they’d campaign to keep the seat if appointed — including former county board president Stroger.

Stroger, who acknowledged he can “attract attention like a lightning rod,” said he still has a “desire to do public service” and had an eye on the 4th District seat. It includes Chicago’s Far South Side and parts of the nearby suburbs.

“I’ve been preparing for the last year or so,” Stroger said.

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