Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



Devine: More money needed to view interrogations

Monday, January 23, 2006
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
by Stephanie Potter

Cook County State's Attorney Richard A. Devine on Friday said he needs at least $2 million more in his 2006 budget to meet the demand for handling videotaped interviews with homicide suspects.

Devine, appearing before the Cook County Board's Finance Committee, set the $2 million figure as the start-up costs for the taping.

Under state law, mandatory videotaping of police interrogations in homicide cases went into effect in July. In a written statement to commissioners, Devine said he supports the idea of videotaping, but the state provided no resources to pay for it.

In an interview Friday afternoon, Devine's chief of staff, Adrienne D. Mebane, said the law has meant substantially more time at the police station for assistant state's attorneys, who formerly would come in to view confessions.

Now, to determine if a case should go forward, a prosecutor could have to be at the station for entire interrogations that can last as many as 40 hours or longer. The office also must transcribe the recorded interviews, which takes about eight hours for every hour of video, according to Devine's statement.

Mebane said the start-up costs of $2 million include about $900,000 for technology upgrades, with the rest for personnel costs.

''There is no place else within our budget where we can find these funds,'' Mebane said.

Budgets are tight for many county offices in the $3.1 billion budget proposed by Board President John H. Stroger Jr, who is not seeking a property tax increase.

In his budget address in December, Stroger said he initially projected a $307 million deficit for the county in 2006 and told his finance team to make cuts to help close the gap.

Complicating the situation further, the county is under pressure to come up with funding for 250 correctional officers under a consent decree entered in a federal lawsuit over jail staffing. U.S. District Judge George M. Marovich has asked the board to take action before a Feb. 22 teleconference with the commissioners.

To come up with the estimated $7.1 million required to fund the correctional officers, Republican Commissioner Carl R. Hansen has sponsored a resolution to bump up projected revenues in the circuit clerk's and treasurer's offices.

That resolution is pending.

John Gibson, deputy press secretary for Stroger, said Stroger submitted a balanced budget, as is required by law.

''Any adjustments that need to be made or implemented to address unfunded mandates such as videotaping will be made,'' Gibson said.

In regard to the videotaping, Mebane described the $2 million as a ''bare bones'' figure and said a specialized unit to handle the recorded interrogations could cost as much as $5 million.

A lack of money for video interrogations wasn't the only complaint Devine had about his proposed $94.8 million general fund budget, which was about $800,000 less than last year.

He also asked for $89,000 to bump up starting salaries for prosecutors to be competitive with neighboring DuPage and Lake County's, which Devine said pay $48,000 annually. The starting salary for a Cook County assistant state's attorney is $43,000.

Mebane, who does exit interviews for the office, said the majority of prosecutors who don't leave because of a relocation or family obligations leave because of salary.

''We have lost a number of people to the city and state because they can receive better salaries,'' Mebane said.

Devine also criticized his proposed $100,000 budget for office supplies, one-quarter of what the office spent last year.

''That means that soon after the budget is passed, we will run out of funds for these basic needs,'' Devine said in his written statement.

Devine also called it ''an interesting bit of timing'' that his office's training budget was cut from $30,000 to $20,000 in the wake of the Illinois Supreme Court's new requirements for minimum continuing legal education. Devine is seeking a training budget of $150,000 annually for his staff of more than 900 attorneys.

The budget as it is now written reflects a recommendation by Stroger of $5,000 for training, but Mebane said she understands that was an error that will be amended.

Mebane said several commissioners asked questions about the office's salaries, overtime, and the requirements of the new videotaping law and training rules.

The office plans to send a letter to Finance Committee Chairman John P. Daley answering those questions.

In his written statement, Devine did not say from where the funds he is seeking should come, but did say he doesn't think additional revenue is required. Instead, he asked the board to look at its priorities and put public safety and health care first.

Mebane and Devine press secretary John Gorman said Devine did not make a specific recommendation as to how the board should come up with the funds he is seeking because he views that as a legislative function with which he should not interfere.



Recent Headlines

Dart warns of 'dramatic increase' in accused gun offenders released on electronic monitors
Friday, February 23, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-soda tax PAC jumps in Cook County Board races
Monday, February 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Wilmette minimum wage working group surveys businesses, will survey residents
Monday, February 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Circuit clerk gets stay on e-filing order
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Hundreds gather at Bridgeport church for Cmdr. Paul Bauer's wake
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dart goes to court in effort to find person accusing him of domestic violence
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Study says property tax system favors rich
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Property Tax System ‘More Regressive’ in Cook County, Report Finds
Friday, February 16, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

VIDEO: Cook County Jail detainees applaud CPD commander’s alleged killer
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Blockbuster report: How Cook County tax system shafts the little guy
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Order over lawsuits in Dorothy Brown’s office put on hold by appeals court
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Dorothy Brown can't 'end-run' First Amendment, judge says in denying delay
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County prosecutors toss more convictions tainted by corrupt ex-Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Handwritten documents, Manila folders, carbon paper — welcome to Cook County criminal court
Monday, February 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County Commissioners missed over a third of Forest Preserve meetings
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail guards lock down sweet union contract—despite sour budget mess
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Running for judge, Dorothy Brown’s inspector general accepts donation from bos
Friday, February 09, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook Co. President Urges Trump To Stop ICE Arrests In Courthouses
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Beverly Patch

Voting in Jail? New Bill Seeks to Expand Ballot Access for Detainees
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

COOK COUNTY BOARD COMMISSIONER PROPOSES HEARING ON POLICE OVERSIGHT
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WBEZ BGA

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP