Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

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.

  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.

Audit reveals chaos at jail

Thursday, May 10, 2007
Daily Herald
by Rob Olmstead

Timecards? What timecards?
Inventory control? What’s that?
And managing overtime? Forget it.
That, essentially was the finding Wednesday in an audit of Cook County’s Juvenile Detention Center, which has long had the reputation of a place where anything not nailed down walked out the door, often leaving the juvenile residents there without educational materials or clean clothes.
County officials didn’t admit that wholesale theft has been going on, but the audit found that the lack of financial controls at the center make such conduct very inviting.
“That does allow the possibility of financial irregularities to occur,” said auditor Laura A. Burman, who released the report Wednesday with Cook County Board President Todd H. Stroger.
Stroger said the audit is proof that he has begun to make changes in county government, but the ACLU, which currently has a court-ordered monitor at the juvenile facility said it’s time to stop producing reports and start making real changes.
Among the findings of the audit: There are almost no inventory controls for supplies at the facility and never any periodic inventory counts. Night staffers, for example, can access the storeroom without supervision.
“Those (lack of controls) led to shortages and deficiencies,” said Jennifer Koehler, a top-level Stroger staffer who is being assigned to the facility full time to institute some of the financial controls the audit recommended.
Also, the audit found, individual time cards the employees were supposed to be filling out for the past three years are never used. Instead, they sign a log-in sheet and a supervisor creates a payroll form from that, leaving the employee unaccountable if irregularities are discovered, which is not likely since payroll sheets are seldom verified.
Stroger said the county is moving toward a card-swipe system at the center to help curb abuses, but Berman said the facility still needs to address the possibility that employees might try to swipe in and out for one another.
While no one was surprised at the audit’s findings, some took slight comfort that the administration is at least admitting problems.
“I think that this is acknowledging the sins and the problems of the center,” said Commissioner Mike Quigley.
But, he added, “the bottom line is nothing has changed, (and there has been) minimal progress on all counts.”
Ben Wolf, associate legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, called for decisive action.
“We’ve had countless reports and audits describe the chaos and incompetence. … What we need is a change in the level of commitment in the county building, and no independent audit is going to do that,” he said. “They still can’t consistently get clean underwear to the kids.”
Stroger said more improvements should come with the passage of legislation that will transfer control of the facility from his office to the office of Cook County’s chief judge, Tim Evans.
A bill mandating that has cleared the Illinois House and is pending in the Senate.

Recent Headlines

U.S. appeals judges: Go fight over lawsuits with Dorothy Brown in state court
Sunday, November 13, 2918
Chicago Sun-Times

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle to unveil policy roadmap for Cook County for next five years
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

COMMENTARY: Here's how the Shakman case curbed Cook County patronage
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Appeals court backs Dorothy Brown in lawsuit over public access to electronic records, says judge overstepped authority
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What’s Next As Voters Overwhelmingly Support Higher Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Time
Monday, November 12, 2018
Journal and Topics Online

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security chief fired after review spurred by watchdog report
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

An earlier opening day: 2019 Cook County forest preserves permits go on sale Nov. 15
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County opening 2019 picnic permit sales Nov. 15
Monday, November 05, 2018
Special to

The Cook County Land Bank looks to go commercial
Monday, November 05, 2018
RE Journal

Nov. 15 is new opening date for Cook County forest preserves permits
Monday, November 05, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County Gun Dealer, Minimum Wage Referendums On Ballot
Monday, November 05, 2018

The Abandoned WWI Monument One Chicago Man Is Determined To Save
Friday, November 02, 2018
Chicago Patch

Cook County freed from federal oversight
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

First-of-its-kind trauma recovery center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018

Northbrook opts in to Cook County paid sick leave ordinance, more uncertainty for employers, lawyer says
Monday, October 29, 2018
Cook County Record

First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
WLS Channel 7

Cook County sheriff, CVS team up on safe prescription painkiller disposal
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

HOPE Court, created to keep probationers out of prison, shut down amid problems
Friday, October 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Can Kaegi really reform the assessor's office?
Friday, October 26, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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