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Audit rips oversight of juvenile center
Operations have gone unchecked for years, county report says

Thursday, May 10, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter

No one's been watching over the food, supply, clothing or petty cash funds at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.
That's according to county auditors, who released findings Wednesday that stopped short of accusing anyone of theft but say the door has been open to that for years.
So, has anything actually been stolen? And who's responsible for allowing things to go unchecked for so long?
"That's a good question," County Board President Todd Stroger said without providing an answer.
The findings affirm criticisms leveled by Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool and others that the center needs to be overhauled. Stroger says he'll assign a staffer, Jennifer Koehler, to help oversee operations, while the state of Illinois considers transferring control to the Cook County chief judge.
'Political prizes'
Ben Wolf of the Chicago arm of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing the county over alleged mistreatment of children at the center, said the shift in oversight is long overdue, as Stroger "continues to view county programs as political prizes instead of services for people."
"That's not going to change until the culture of the county building changes," Wolf said.


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