Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

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 Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.

Federal immigration chief: Cook County jail policy may be illegal

Thursday, January 12, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

Cook County’s controversial illegal immigration policy, which critics say paved the way for a suspect in a deadly drunken driving crash to bond out of jail and disappear, may very well violate federal law, the nation’s immigration director said in a letter to County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

“This ordinance undermines public safety in Cook County,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton wrote in a Jan. 4 letter to Preckwinkle. “In addition to undermining local public safety, the [ordinance] may also violate federal law.”

The letter was dated the same day the Chicago Sun-Times and other media outlets reported the case of Saul Chavez, 36, who was charged in a deadly hit-and-run crash on the city’s Northwest Side back in June 2011. His family posted 10 percent, or $25,000, of the $250,000 bond, and he was released in late November. He hasn’t been seen since.

In the days after Chavez’s arrest, immigration officials issued a “detainer” for him, asking that the county jail notify the agency when the suspect posted bond and to detain him up to 48 hours so agents could pick him up for possible deportation proceedings.

But in September, a majority of county commissioners passed an ordinance instructing the jail to ignore the immigration detainers — describing the detainers as requests and not arrest warrants, as a federal court ruled earlier in the year.

Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Preckwinkle championed the measure, saying the detainers sometimes targeted U.S. citizens and were an added expense the jail can’t afford.

Chavez is charged in the death of William “Denny” McCann, 66, killed by an alleged drunken driver as McCann crossed a Logan Square Street last summer. McCann’s family says Chavez, who lists addresses in Chicago and outside Mexico City, would still be in custody had the county not changed its policy.

At a news conference Thursday, Preckwinkle said her heart goes out to the McCann family, but the issue with Chavez is that his bond was too low — especially considering he had a felony drunken driving conviction on his record.

“I want all of you to know that I’m outraged — I’m outraged by what happened to the McCann family. It’s a tragedy [that] could have been avoided,” she told reporters.

Preckwinkle, a Democrat, said she supported a proposed amendment to the detainer ordinance — sponsored by three Republicans commissioners — that would at least allow the county sheriff to open the lines of communication with federal immigration officials. But it was unclear what that would achieve.

The chief sponsor, Commissioner Tim Schneider, said he would seek to fine-tune his ordinance and open the door for the county to again honor the detainers.

As for Morton, the head of federal immigration agency outlines in his letter — provided by Preckwinkle’s office Thursday — how the county ignored 268 detainers issued for jail inmates, many of whom were arrested locally for “serious and violent offenses like assault of a police officer.”

Preckwinkle says she’s angry that the discussion of this issue has devolved into “fear-mongering.”

“I’m angry because people are trying to use this complicated issue to divide our communities. This type of fear-mongering is distasteful, and it has no place in the public policy arena,” she said.

Preckwinkle shook her head over the immigration chief’s letter, requesting an amendment to the ordinance “to avoid any legal conflict with federal law.”

“I just got this letter last night, and we’re crafting a response to Mr. Morton, and we will be happy to talk to him,” Preckwinkle said. “I will just tell you I have not heard a word from him — not a phone call or letter in the last four months — so it’s fascinating I get this in the last few days.”

Recent Headlines

Nearly a century after a brutal murder, Chicago’s only lynching victim gets memorial
Thursday, March 21, 2019
The Grio

Recovery Behind Bars: Cook County Jail’s Opioid Treatment Program
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Medill Reports

Judge: Labor unions don't owe non-union state workers refunds, despite unconstitutional fees
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Cook County record

The language of justice: Court interpreters fight for client rights and their rights in Cook County
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Medill Reports

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Preckwinkle sends out harassment survey to staff after harassment controversy in her office
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

City considers landmarking old Cook County Hospital
Friday, March 01, 2019
Gazette Chicago

all news items

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