Stroger staffer denies reports office was searched

October 22, 2010 (CHICAGO)

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that investigators took electronic devices from Stroger's office late Thursday night. But the county board president's staff says investigators were not there.

A spokesperson for Stroger adamantly denies that there was any kind of a raid in the president's office. Stroger's office says it is a huge misunderstanding but other sources say differently.

The Cook County inspector general's office will not confirm or deny anything. Other investigators have not returned ABC7's calls.

A Sun-Times report says Cook County investigators were inside President Stroger's office Thursday night after business hours and that they confiscated hard drives and equipment.

Cook County commissioner Tony Periaca, a known Stroger opponent, also says that county janitors told him the same thing. But ABC7 confirmed with lighting crews from a primetime TV show that there was indeed a TV show being taped in Stroger's office last night. It was a crime show which could have been mistaken as investigators taking equipment.

Tony Periaca is standing by his sources while a spokesperson for Stroger is fighting back.

"One, it is not true. It is not even a mistake. It is a lie. Whoever fed that information gave her false information. Basically it is a lie. What was going on here last night was the tv show 'ride along' doing some scenes in the building. They filmed a number of scenes inside the office here. And that is what happened last night. They were here pretty late," said Marcel Bright, Cook County Department Director of Public Affairs.

"The information that I have is that the investigators from the state attorney's office and inspector general's office in fact did go through the offices of the president and minority contract compliance office," said Peraica.

The Stroger spokesperson did admit that investigators did seize equipment last week but they say that's connected to the Carla Oglesby investigation.

Olglesby is one of Stroger's top aides now charged in an investigation concerning allegations of her inappropriately, awarding her own business cash contracts. Her individual office is near Stroger's.

A Stroger spokesperson brought ABC7's Jason Knowles into the office. They wouldn't allow cameras but the office looked untouched. A desktop computer was missing but a Stroger spokesperson says he uses a laptop.

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