Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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:  
   
 
 

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.

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



What were sheriff's motives?

Thursday, June 16, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by Malcolm C. Rich
Letter to the Editor

On June 3, a jury in a civil lawsuit found that seven corrections officers at the Cook County Jail did not use excessive force against four inmates in July 2000. While the jury's verdict cleared the corrections officers of wrongdoing, the conduct of the litigation has raised concerns about officials at the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

Chicago attorney Jean Snyder, who has successfully litigated lawsuits concerning conditions at the Cook County Jail, initially represented the four inmates. In 2004, Sheriff Michael Sheahan accused Snyder of collaborating with the inmates to stage the beating in order to get big money in a lawsuit. The sheriff demanded that the Cook County state's attorney's office consider criminal charges against Snyder, and he also referred Snyder to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee for possible professional sanctions. These accusations were attended by extensive media coverage.

Subsequent investigations by the Cook County state's attorney's office and the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee cleared Snyder of any wrongdoing. But not before Snyder had been forced to withdraw from the case as a result of the sheriff's accusation.

In the closing arguments at the conclusion of the trial, the sheriff's lawyers informed the jury that they had no reason to believe that Snyder had been in any way involved in staging the beating. In the wake of the sheriff's highly public accusations against Snyder a little over a year earlier, this admission is, to say the least, surprising.

A fundamental component of our legal system is the freedom of litigants to choose their own attorney. An individual should be able to expect that his attorney will provide representation throughout the proceedings. Many would likely forego vindicating their legal rights in court if there was even a remote possibility that they would face the daunting task of changing lawyers during the litigation. Any sort of interference with the attorney/client relationship is a serious matter; improper tampering with the relationship intolerably compromises the rights of the litigant affected, perverts the court's processes, and is corrosive to the fair administration of justice.

The sheriff is not an ordinary participant in our justice system. The sheriff is a public official and as such has a duty to uphold the law and to conduct his office within the law's bounds. As a principal of Cook County's law enforcement community, the sheriff has a special ability to collect information and to screen that information for evidence of wrongdoing.

Snyder was forced to withdraw her representation from the four inmates because of the sheriff's accusations, which apparently have proved baseless. Whether or not Snyder's representation would have made a difference in the case cannot be known, but the inmates were entitled to her representation. The question should be asked: Did the sheriff have a good-faith basis for the accusations against Snyder or were the accusations designed to force her off the case?

Malcolm C. Rich,
executive director,
Chicago Council of Lawyers



Recent Headlines

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER SUFFREDIN
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

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

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 suffredin.org

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

$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
WTTW News

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the regionís sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawmakers Look To Keep 10-Year-Olds Out Of Jail
Thursday, April 04, 2019

Property Tax Workshops Help Homeowners Appeal Assessments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Large crowds of Evanston residents turn out to appeal property tax assessments
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Family of slain cabbie accuses Cook County state's attorney's office of dodging FOIA request
Monday, April 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property Tax Appeal Seminar Set For New Trier Township Residents
Monday, April 01, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

all news items

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