Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
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:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Stellar public servant should need no defense

Friday, May 02, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Public Defender Edwin Burnette has defended the poor in Cook County for more than 20 years, but these days he's defending himself.

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger wants to fire him.

But after reviewing the allegations against Burnette, we believe he should be allowed to keep his job.

The accusations against Burnette amount to policy differences at best, trumped-up charges at worst. One allegation, for example, contends Burnette failed to properly discipline an office receptionist, a woman charged with receiving marijuana through the office mail.

After investigating those allegations and others, Burnette fired her. What more does Stroger want?

Another allegation, on the face of it, sounds more serious: More than 30 clients of public defenders have stewed in jail for more than five years while awaiting trial.

Nearly all of those cases involve murder charges, Burnette notes, and many have been held up by appeals on pretrial legal issues. Some have been delayed while the court awaits DNA lab results, and in every case, it is a judge who controls the pace. There are, in short, legitimate reasons.

What's truly at the heart of every allegation against Burnette is -- don't be shocked -- politics.

Burnette complains that Stroger has tried to push unqualified people into public defender jobs. Burnette has balked.

Politics has no place in the public defender's office. It defends people whose liberty is at stake, and sometimes, their lives.

No job for a political hack.

It is, in fact, a job for a man like Burnette, who grew up on the West Side and served in the Marines for 15 years.

In 1987, he started out on the bottom rung in the public defender's office and worked his way up. He's in the last year of his six-year term as public defender.

Today, Burnette will ask a Cook County judge to block a County Board hearing on Wednesday that could lead to his firing. Burnette just wants a fair -- and public -- hearing but rightly worries that's not on tap for him next week.

When Burnette, 57, visited with the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board this week, we saw a public servant with integrity.

What a travesty to see such integrity called into question, so near the end of a fine career.



Recent Headlines

Special prosecutor billed Cook County nearly 50K for Van Dyke murder case
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board votes in favor of $4 million settlement in Stroger medical malpractice case
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Judge bucks Cook County law, says boys as young as 10 can be locked up
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Village of Northbrook Opts Back In to the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance
Monday, October 15, 2018
National Law Review

Chicago health system to add 240+ jobs
Monday, October 15, 2018
Becker's Hospital Review

Fired doctor sues county, loses whistleblower claim
Friday, October 12, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County health system to add jobs
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

No layoffs or tax hike in mayoral hopeful Preckwinkle’s proposed county budget
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

'Inclusionary' housing ordinance rewrite advances
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Evanston Now

Faced with tight budgets, more Illinois counties merge clerk, recorder offices
Monday, October 08, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Class action: Hundreds of Cook Sheriff officer suspensions invalid, because State's Attorney not involved
Friday, October 05, 2018
Cook County Record

One Cook County judge bucks chief judge’s order against unaffordably high bail
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Game of thrones? Watchdog sees ‘scheme to defraud’ in Pritzker toilet tax break
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Board approves $31M election equipment contract despite lawsuit; $11M to settle 2 malpractice lawsuits
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County approves new election equipment contract, despite rival firm’s lawsuit
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Top prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes as 18 convictions linked to corrupt cop vacated
Monday, September 24, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

all news items

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