Candidate seeking Beavers’ old seat on county board fined in campaign ethics case
BY BECKY SCHLIKERMAN, TINA SFONDELES AND NATASHA KORECKI Staff Reporters April 9, 2013 3:56PM
Updated: April 9, 2013 9:23PM
The candidate thought to be a leading contender to replace convicted tax cheat Cook County Commissioner William Beavers’ paid off an pending ethics fine of his own Tuesday — two days before the replacement is chosen.
Stanley Moore, a onetime state official, paid $2,900 of a $3,000 fine Tuesday, said Chad Fornoff, executive director of the state’s Executive Ethics Commission. He was fined for campaigning during work hours; Moore was a deputy director of the Illinois Department of Transportation at the time.
“We received a check from him in the mail today from $2,900 paying off the balance of the fine,” Fornoff said Tuesday, adding Moore had paid off the first $100 soon after the fine was levied.
Moore was fined for engaging in political activity during work hours as a deputy director for the agency’s office of business and workforce diversity, according to the ethics commission’s decision to fine him.
Cook County Democratic leaders will meet Thursday to choose a replacement for Beavers, who was convicted last month of federal tax evasion.
Moore made an unsuccessful bid in 2007 for the Illinois House and on three occasions, he left work to “solicit contribution for his political campaign” on the taxpayers dime, according to the ethics commission’s decision to fine him.
When questioned about his time sheet for two of the instances, Moore said he attended work meetings, but investigators determined he never signed in, according to the report.
Moore could not be reached late Tuesday.
Moore was terminated from his job April 1, 2009 and the ethics complaint was filed less than a month later on April 28, 2009. IDOT could not immediately comment on why Moore was fired.
Meanwhile, former Cook County Board president Todd Stroger on Tuesday insists he’s still in the running, despite published reports indicating otherwise.
Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus, will cast the largest number of weighted votes as 21st Ward Democratic committeeman. He will lead the meeting on Thursday.
Last month, Stroger told the Sun-Times,“Actually, I do have an interest” and that hasn’t waned, he told the paper again on Tuesday.
He’s said he confident of his chances: “I don’t see why it should be anybody else but me, to be honest. I don’t see how they would see it any different.”
Stroger said he’s worked with most of the Democratic committeemen and he’s the candidate “who can makes things happen.”
Stroger has shrugged off questions about the federal indictment of his onetime top aide and childhood friend Eugene Mullins. Mullins, whose trial is set for the fall, was accused of scheming to “fraudulently steer” multiple grants to the other men who were indicted, who then allegedly gave him thousands of dollars in kickbacks. At the time of the alleged scheme, Mullins was Stroger’s chief spokesman when Stroger was county board president.
Last month, a federal jury last month took less than two hours to convict Beavers of using his campaign account as a slush fund to boost his pension and satisfy his gambling habit.
Upon conviction, Beavers lost his position as 4th District commissioner on the county board, serving Chicago’s Far South Side and a portion of nearby suburbs.
Other possible replacements mentioned are the cousin of Ald. Roderick Sawyer, Kenneth Sawyer, and Sawyer’s chief of staff, Brian Sleet.
But on Tuesday Kenneth Sawyer, who was once chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, said he’s pulled his name out of the running. Kenneth Sawyer previously said if he were appointed, he would serve in the post without taking a salary. Instead, he would return the money through community scholarships.
“If something were to change and they still want to consider my name, I absolutely would accept it,” Sawyer said. He said that Stanley Moore is a frontrunner.
“It hasn’t been official that Mr. Moore is going to get it … The names that have come up, his name seems to have been the one that I’ve heard the most.”
Once the committee reaches a consensus, the replacement will serve out the remainder of Beavers’ term, which ends in December 2014.