Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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 is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Stroger calls for review of Rezko-linked contractor

Thursday, March 17, 2005
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Board President John Strogerís administration Thursday abruptly ordered a new review of whether a minority contractor whoís about to be stripped of his business with the city of Chicago ought to also lose a lucrative pact he has with the county.

Citing new information that has come to our attention, Mr. Strogerís spokeswoman said officials will further study whether contractor Jabir Herbert Muhammad is entitled to a minority-business contract to provide telephone service at Cook County jail.

Only a day earlier, Mr. Strogerís office said it was confident that the Muhammad-owned Crucial Communications LLP deserved the work, even though city officials say they believe a sister Muhammad company, Crucial, Inc., serves as a front for Antoin Rezko.

Mr. Rezko has been a top fund-raiser for President Stroger and Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and franchises Panda Express fast-food outlets in the Chicago area. He and Mr. Muhammad have a long-standing business relationship.

Mr. Strogerís spokeswoman said the review could force the county to rework the jail contract, in which Crucial operates pay phones for inmates in partnership with SBC Communications, Inc.

The spokeswoman did not identify what new information has surfaced since yesterday. But news accounts have indicated that Mr. Muhammad lately has been too ill to personally operate Crucial, Inc. day to day.

In addition, County Commissioner Lawrence Suffredin earlier Thursday wrote Mr. Stroger asking him to doublecheck Crucialís status. And Crainís reported new details on the relationship between Messers Muhammad and Rezko.

Crucial, Inc., operates restaurants at OíHare International Airport. It got that deal because it was certified under a minority-business program. But city officials earlier this week said they have determined the company is partially owned and effectively operated by Mr. Rezko.

Similarly, Crucial Communications holds the jail contract under provisions of the countyís minority-business program.

Mr. Rezkoís name does not show up on any records having to do with Crucial Communications, according to Mr. Strogerís office. However, Illinois Secretary of State records indicate that both Crucial Communications and Crucial, Inc., share the same mailing address, 409 W. Huron St. in Chicago.

Thatís the same address from which Mr. Rezko operates his Panda Express chain, according to County commissioners Suffredin and Forrest Claypool.

Phone records include a listing for Panda Express at the Huron St. address, but calls to the number get a recording saying the line is inoperable.

Mr. Rezko has been out of the country and unavailable for comment, according to a spokesman.

Roxanne Jackson, Mr. Muhammadís attorney, said that while he has been ill for some time now, he is involved in, and in charge of, Crucial Communications on a day-to-day basis.

Ms. Jackson said Crucial, Inc., is a legitimate minority firm, and said she believes city officials will reverse their stance after upcoming meetings.

Crucial Communicationsí latest county contract was approved two years ago amid stiff fire from Mr. Suffredin and others that the firm and SBC charge excessive rates for prisoners to make collect calls to their families.

Orlando Jones, Mr. Strogerís godson and former chief of staff, said he is not aware of any financial stake Mr. Rezko may have in Crucial Communications, but said Messrs. Rezko and Muhammad know and work together.

Tony and Muhammad have been business partners for years in various business ventures, said Mr. Jones, in a phone interview.




Recent Headlines

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER SUFFREDIN
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Assessorís Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZís Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
WTTW News

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the regionís sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawmakers Look To Keep 10-Year-Olds Out Of Jail
Thursday, April 04, 2019

Property Tax Workshops Help Homeowners Appeal Assessments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Large crowds of Evanston residents turn out to appeal property tax assessments
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Family of slain cabbie accuses Cook County state's attorney's office of dodging FOIA request
Monday, April 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property Tax Appeal Seminar Set For New Trier Township Residents
Monday, April 01, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

all news items

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