Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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.

Juvenile center troubles mount
Unsealed lawsuit claims grant misuse, kickbacks, drug use

Thursday, February 01, 2007
Daily Herald
by Rob Olmstead

A previously sealed whistleblower lawsuit against the troubled Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center received its first public court hearing Wednesday, revealing new allegations.
In addition to the widely publicized allegations of abuse of teens at the facility, the suit describes widespread misuse of state and federal grants, with at least one grant being used to fund patronage jobs outside the facility — a legal no-no.
Allegations of ghost payrollers, false overtime claims, kickbacks, blatant drug use by children and the selling by employees of CDs and videos out of their lockers while on the clock also are described in the suit, filed on behalf of a “Jane Doe” employee.
Dana Kurtz, the plaintiff’s lawyer, told Judge Ronald A. Guzman Wednesday she needed 60 days to update the complaint and distribute it to county officials. He gave her 30 days.
Under federal whistleblower statutes, lawsuits can be filed under seal to give state and federal authorities time to investigate the claims to see if there are criminal charges to be pursued. Since the lawsuit was filed in September 2005, both the Illinois attorney general and the U.S. attorney’s office have served subpoenas on the center.
Chief Judge James Holderman ordered the suit unsealed Jan. 19, and the U.S. attorney’s office filed a form indicating it will not carry the civil suit forward for the plaintiff, but it will allow her to carry it forward in the U.S. government’s name. Federal officials also reserve the right to sign off on any potential settlement. The assistant U.S. attorney handling the case could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for the Illinois attorney general said that office continues to investigate criminal allegations, but could not say if the office would carry the civil suit forward. No attorney for the office appeared in court Wednesday.
Assistant State’s Attorney Patrick Blanchard told Guzman the county likely would hire a private firm to represent it.
According to the suit, one assistant superintendent at the center “directly engaged in the fraudulent activity by requiring staff … and outside contractors to pay him kickbacks in return for benefits such as the phantom ‘overtime’ pay and grant funds for projects.”
Other assistant superintendents “directly abused grant funding by using the funds to pay personal expenses and expenses for friends,” the suit claimed. “Because of all the improper spending … there is no money for kids’ activities and educational programs. … The occasional supplies or donations that come into the facility more often than not ‘disappear’ to the extent they are ordered at all.”
Since the suit was filed, the five assistant superintendents at the facility were removed by county administrators, but many of them were put in other county jobs, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune. The superintendent also was removed, and J.W. Fairman has been assigned to run the facility. He did not return phone calls Wednesday.
Since the lawsuit was filed, the county also has entered into an agreement with the ACLU to improve conditions at the center. An outside monitor is at the facility, but she recently told the court facility administrators were interfering with her work — a claim the county denied. The monitor, Brenda Welch, also could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Many of the employees named in the suit no longer are at the facility. At least two remain, making $44,500 salaries each.

Recent Headlines

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

City considers landmarking old Cook County Hospital
Friday, March 01, 2019
Gazette Chicago

Judge: State constitution doesn't force Cook County to spend $250M more on roads, transport projects
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Cook County Rrecord

City Club of Chicago: Cook County Housing Authority Executive Director Richard Monocchio
Thursday, February 28, 2019
WGN Chicago

Illinois hospitals seek reform of Medicaid managed care system
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Effingham Daily News

Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic’s Annual Report
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Special to

Glenview open house a 'one stop service' for new, existing residents to learn about town offerings
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Glenview Announcements

all news items

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