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.

Cook County fail?
'YOU HAVE A PROBLEM' | Sheriff rejects findings of U.S. attorney's probe that cites medical negligence, abusive behavior by jail guards

Friday, July 18, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times

Unnecessary deaths and amputation, grossly inadequate medical care and routine inmate beatings.

Those are some of the disturbing findings at the Cook County Jail after a 17-month civil review by the U.S. attorney's office, which is considering criminal charges against some jail guards.

On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald cited anecdote after anecdote of medical negligence, mismanagement and abusive behavior by guards at the jail.

In one case, an inmate left untreated for a gunshot wound developed sepsis and died. One man's leg was amputated after complaints about pains in his bandaged leg went ignored. Guards allegedly beat another man, kicking out his dentures and sending him to the hospital on a respirator.

Just one dentist serves 9,800 inmates, and he only deals in extractions. Twenty five percent of those resulted in infection, the report says.

"When you're talking about unnecessary amputations and deaths -- you have a problem," Fitzgerald said.

The findings were laid out in a 98-page letter delivered to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and Sheriff Thomas Dart last Friday.

U.S. prosecutors can now force correction of deficiencies at the jail.

Fitzgerald called on officials at the jail, sheriff's office and County Board to quickly remedy wide-scale problems at the nation's largest single-site county jail.

Dart took great exception to the report, saying it ignored sweeping, significant changes he put in place. Dart hired the onetime No. 2 Chicago FBI official, Joseph Ways, to weed out problem officers.

"They have completely ignored all the positive things we've done and painted a picture that is in no way accurate and is horribly disappointing," Dart said. "At the end of the day, I find it to be horribly unprofessional."

Dart said the federal team spent only 10 days at the jail. "You look at this [report], you think we're running a Motel 6, and this is a Boy Scout jamboree," Dart said. "We have some of the most violent people in the county, if not the country."

Dart said the county, and not the jail, should shoulder the blame for medical negligence. The county runs Cermak Hospital. Hospital representatives cite a shrinking budget and significant cuts in staff.

Lack of money, Fitzgerald said, isn't an excuse. "We pay more taxes here than anywhere in the country," Fitzgerald said. "It can't be the only county in the country that can't afford to have a jail that satisfies constitutional standards."

The report found a culture among guards that fostered beatings to the point of hospitalization when inmates talked back or rebuffed orders. Many of the beatings brought lawsuits and costly settlements.

Attorney Richard Dvorak, whose firm is handling four cases involving 15 inmates -- including some referenced in the report -- said federal scrutiny is a long time coming.

"I believe Cook County authorities have shown they are incapable of policing themselves," he said.

Papers filed in one of those cases indicate a federal grand jury is considering criminal charges against some jail guards.

Chicago resident Brandon Sanders said he was released from the jail Thursday after 16 hours with no food.

"They treated us like animals -- less than animals. I wouldn't treat stray dogs the way they treat these inmates."

Contributing: Mark Konkol

Recent Headlines

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to

What's at stake in latest census numbers
Monday, April 22, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Legislation aims to make water rates across Illinois more affordable and equitable
Monday, April 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown worker who allegedly lied to federal grand jury set for trial
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Time is running out for an affordable housing fix
Friday, April 19, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessorís Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to

Women Prisoners in Cook County Jail Curate Global Film Festival
Thursday, April 18, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZís Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Vote for your favorite presidential candidate. The Illinois Democratic County Chairís Association wants to know who you want to be the Democratic nominees for President and Vice President. Vote here.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

all news items

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