CHICAGO | One of newly appointed Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore’s first actions this week was a motion to approve a road repair project pending before the County Board’s Roads and Bridges committee.
But before anyone else could get in a word, Commissioner Larry Suffredin, D-Evanston, made a point of asking, “Can we have the new commissioner explain what he just moved?”
For an instant, Moore had a look of confusion in his eyes — at least until everyone else started laughing and he realized they were joking with him, with committee Chair Deborah Sims, D-Chicago, saying, “We’ll give the freshman a pass.”
Moore, a Gresham neighborhood resident, is the man who last week was appointed by Democratic committeemen on the Far South Side and surrounding suburbs to finish the term of County Board member William Beavers, who was removed from the post after being found guilty of federal income tax charges.
Moore’s resume includes stints as a deputy director with the Illinois Department of Transportation and as a budget analyst with the General Assembly. But he most recently owned and operated a fast food restaurant inside the Walmart store in the home neighborhood of 21st Ward Alderman Howard Brookins.
He was sworn into his new position Tuesday and became involved in offering support for an effort by Commissioner John Fritchey, D-Chicago, to have the county enact its own ban on landfills to bolster the state laws that already prohibit them in Cook County.
Yet when asked how much of a leadership role he was prepared to take on this issue, Moore said, “it is only my second day on the job. I need to learn the procedures more fully before I can say exactly what I will do.”
Moore kept quiet for most of his first County Board meeting on Wednesday; speaking only to explain his landfill stance, and also to deny any family connection when Commissioner Elizabeth Doody Gorman, R-Orland Park, asked about a contract awarded to Moore Security Services Inc., in Chicago to provide armed guards at the adult probation department offices.
Moore, however, told The Times he plans to be an outspoken advocate for his Cook County district, which includes 10th Ward neighborhoods such as South Chicago, the East Side and Hegewisch, along with suburbs such as Calumet City, Dolton and Lansing.
“Since I have been here, not a lot of things have been done by the county in the district,” Moore said. “I’m going to speak out and make people pay attention to the area.”
A state ethics panel fined Moore $3,000 for campaign activities while he worked for the state Transportation Department in 2008. He ran an unsuccessful campaign against state Rep. Monique Davis, D-Chicago, in that election cycle, and officials said on three occasions he campaigned while being paid on state time.
“Whenever somebody comes along who wants to try to do some good work for the people, there’s always someone else who will come along and create issues,” Moore said. “I think we need to look past the past for the good of us all.”
Whether that attitude will be universal around the County Building has yet to be seen.
Robert Storman, a spokesman for Thornton Township Committeeman Frank Zuccarelli, said he was among those committeemen who expressed “concerns” about Moore’s public perception, but added that Brookins’ solid support caused other committeemen to, “yield the right of way” and approve the appointment.
“With the weighted vote, not everybody has an equal say,” Storman said. “But that’s the way they do this stuff.”