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.

  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.

Sheriff moves to erase report on 1999 jail beatings

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times

The former judge who led a special grand jury investigation into beatings at Cook County Jail socialized with the jury foreman and speculated the findings would end Sheriff Michael Sheahan's political career, records show.

The jury released a scathing report in September accusing the sheriff's office of covering up a mass beating by jail guards in 1999. The sheriff filed a complaint Monday in Cook County Circuit Court seeking to expunge the 150-page report from the public record.

The sheriff contends former Judge Thomas Hett demonstrated bias against him in the way he conducted the grand jury investigation.

"We always suspected there were other motivations for Hett," sheriff's spokeswoman Sally Daly said.
"The sheriff feels very strongly a political motive was at work."

Hett improperly offered "editorial comment and opinions" to the grand jury, according to Monday's complaint.

'Hostess with the mostest'

Specifically, the sheriff's office points to Hett's comments in an Aug. 30 grand jury transcript -- weeks before the report was released Sept. 16.

"What's going to happen when this comes out?" Hett said. "I think it's going to be a wake-up call, number one. And, number two, it's going to cause him to be unable to run again."

On Monday, Hett said he did not remember commenting on Sheahan's political career.

The sheriff's complaint also accused Hett of having improper contact with jurors.

In an e-mail obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, Hett told jury foreman Wayne Milczarek and his wife: "You are the quintessential host and hostess with the mostest. Bobbie and I are aware of the very hard work and long planning the evening took. The food was out of this world. The conversation was lively [we even got some work done] and your home is beautiful."

Hett said he saw nothing improper with having dinner with the Milczareks.

"I was the investigator for the grand jury and he was the foreman -- I was working for him
[Milczarek]. We had a number of meetings, not just at his house, because that was part of my job
and there was nothing inappropriate about that," Hett said.

Consulting deal also criticized

The sheriff also said Hett should not have hired his son's consulting firm for "document
management" -- or engage the law firms of Jenner & Block or Winston & Strawn to perform work on
grand jury matters. The law firms represented people who sued the sheriff's office over the jail,
the sheriff's complaint said. Hett would not comment on his son's work.

Sheriff's officials said they are asking the court to expunge the grand jury report because they
want to prevent it from being used as evidence in other cases, such as a lawsuit that former jail
guards have brought against Sheahan claiming they were forced to resign because they would not
cover up beatings. The sheriff denies a cover-up.

Even if the grand jury report is expunged, it would not affect a $362,000 settlement the county has
agreed to pay inmate Cello Pettiford in a lawsuit saying he was a victim in a February 1999 mass

Recent Headlines

System News
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

Women Jail Guards Say Sheriff’s Department Tolerated Sexual Harassment By Cook County Inmates
Monday, May 06, 2019
WBEZ Chicago public Radio

all news items

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