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Prosecutor payments in clear
BURGE | Ongoing bills to county cover work for feds, Collins told

Thursday, October 04, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
by ABDON M. PALLASCH Staff Reporter

A showdown over Cook County's refusal to pay bills to a special prosecutor was averted Wednesday.
Commissioner Earlean Collins said after a court hearing she was satisfied that the special prosecutor was earning the money by cooperating with federal and state prosecutors investigating the possibility of charges against police officers accused of brutality.
Collins has been one of the main critics of a report by special prosecutors Edward Egan and Robert Boyle last year, which said officers under the command of former Police Cmdr. Jon Burge tortured suspects but that it was too late to bring charges against them.
Collins and other commissioners asked why Egan and Boyle were still billing the county $23,000 a month for expenses such as office rent and officer staff a year after the report was issued. The county has paid the special prosecutors more than $6 million over the 4½-year investigation.
In a closed hearing before Criminal Court Presiding Judge Paul Biebel, Collins got her answer Wednesday: They are making copies of grand jury reports and other documents in response to subpoenas from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office and requests for information from Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office.
Fitzgerald said last week he was investigating the torture claims.
Boyle asked Biebel to find the county in default, but Biebel gave county officials until Oct. 11 to pay or work out a resolution.
Collins and Commissioner Peter Silvestri said they would convene a meeting of the County Board within a week, and she is now ready to recommend they resume paying the prosecutors.

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