Comm. Dennis Deer (D-2), the newest member on the Cook County Board, has hired 16th Ward Democratic Committeewoman Stephanie Coleman as an aide, county disclosures of Shakman-exempt hires show. Coleman was also present at budget hearings Monday.
According to the county, “An exempt position is one that involves policy making to an extent or is confidential in such a way that political affiliation is an appropriate consideration for the effective performance of the job.” The Shakman decree was instituted to end patronage hiring in Cook County and Chicago government. Coleman was one of a large group of committeemen who voted to appoint Deer to his county board seat to replace the late Comm. Robert Steele. Steele’s aide, Melva Brownlee, is still the most senior member of the office. Coleman defeated Ald. Toni Foulkes (16) for the committeeman seat in 2015. She is the daughter of Ald. Shirley Coleman, who represented the ward from 1991 until 2007.