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:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Grieving, Cook County style

Thursday, March 31, 2005
Chicago Tribune

The lead story in Saturday's Tribune made a remarkable disclosure: The African-American woman Cook County officials thought was running a politically connected firm--it's the minority subcontractor in a big county telephone deal--died on Jan. 23, 2004.

This isn't merely one more proof that Cook County routinely mismanages the public's business. It's also grounds to ask whether the county's outreach to minority- and women-owned businesses needs a massive overhaul.

The alleged failure of Crucial Communications LLC to notify the county of a major change in its operations raises many questions. Starting with: How, exactly, did this outfit become part of this lucrative telephone deal? Who does run Crucial? And shouldn't the Cook County administration have more closely monitored one of its minority subcontractors--at least enough to know that, 14 months ago, the firm's chief operating officer went to her eternal reward?

County taxpayers, through their elected officials, try to spread public business equitably by earmarking portions of many deals for minority- and women-owned companies. In fairness to other such firms, companies that win contracts must in fact be owned and run by minorities or women--and they must notify the county of major changes in their operations.

As when, presumably, the COO is dead.

Crucial is the minority subcontractor in a multimillion-dollar, multiyear deal that gives SBC Illinois the right to operate inmate phones at the County Jail and pay phones in county facilities. Crucial is owned by Jabir Herbert Muhammad, who the city alleges used a separate firm, Crucial Inc., as a minority front for businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko in the operation of two Panda Express restaurants at O'Hare International Airport. Muhammad has been seriously ill for three years. Rezko is a key adviser to Gov. Rod Blagojevich. All that's certain beyond this is that, until recently, the county evidently thought an African-American woman was managing Crucial Communications.

We can't judge-and-jury the details of whether Crucial met its legal obligations to a somnolent Cook County government. We do hope an independent voice answers that question, pronto.

Cook County Board member Michael Quigley stepped up this week with what sounds like an excellent reform proposal: that the county outsource the oversight and eligibility certification of minority- and women-owned businesses to an independent firm. Quigley argues that the county's current program does too little to expand local markets for many of these firms: "Time and again we see that lucrative contracts and subcontracts are going to a small cast of inside players getting more than their fair share."

Here's the fun part: Quigley's proposal would require bidders on many county contracts to disclose their political contributions to county officials and to identify former county employees now on their payrolls.

That's not the Cook County way. But as the rising number of questions about the county's minority set-aside program suggests, it should be.

A federal grand jury is probing the possible involvement of political clout in a canceled, $49 million contract for equipment at the county's Stroger Hospital. Someone who draws a government paycheck ought to explore the saga of Crucial Communications' contract too.

 

 



Recent Headlines

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

EXPERIENCE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE FOREST PRESERVES THROUGHOUT WINTER
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Jail detainee dies at Stroger Hospital
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Pro Publica

Charges dismissed against man accused of threatening judge
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Daily Herald

Double Down: Twin Brothers Rehabbing Chicago
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Defender

Slowik: Residents, officials celebrate rehab work at public housing sites
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Daily Southtown

Class action: Evanston can't charge 'convenience fees' to people paying tickets online
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Cook County Rercord

390 arrested in nationwide prostitution sting, including 38 in Cook County
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

As we build a road, we will protect the forest preserves
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Campaign to weed out European buckthorn across the suburbs
Tuesday, February 05, 2019
Northwest Herald

Airbnb hosts in Cook County earned $109 million last year: report
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County senior exemption deadline extended
Monday, February 04, 2019
Daily Herald

Decadelong legal battle over Barrington Hills horse farm — eyed as huge forest preserve — may be nearing resolution
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: Protect iconic forest preserve from concrete overkill
Sunday, February 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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