Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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.

   
  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.
   
     
     
     



Preckwinkle cleaning up a mess at morgue

Monday, June 25, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by LAURA WASHINGTON

Watching her conduct at a news conference last week reminded me of a conversation we’d had in early March, weeks into the worst embarrassment of her administration.

As we chatted over ice cream and hot tea at Preckwinkle’s favorite downtown diner, she recalled her visit to a cooler at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. “So I went in the cooler, um, and it’s pretty sobering. And it’s, uh, it smells like embalming fluid. . . .

And it was filled with bodies. Lots and lots of dead bodies.

Had she ever been inside a body cooler before?

“No, I can’t say that I have,” she replied in her trademark deliberate, yet understated way.

Did she think she would ever end up there?

“It wasn’t something that I would have predicted.” Pause. Wry chuckle. “Nothing I envisioned when I ran for office, no.”

Preckwinkle’s “tour” of the cooler at the county morgue followed sensational media revelations that detailed the morbid mishandling of hundreds of bodies, body parts and bodily fluids. In January, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that bodies were “piling up” in the morgue’s storage cooler. At one point, 400 adults and about 100 babies were stacked in a cooler designed for less than 300.

Last Tuesday, Preckwinkle called in the media to announce a sweeping overhaul of the examiner’s office. Chief Medical Examiner Nancy Jones was retiring. Kimberly Jackson, the morgue’s top administrator, was ousted. Preckwinkle has vowed to remake the “culture” of the office and clean up the patronage-laden, under-resourced operation.

Some might wonder what took her so long. Preckwinkle did not begin firing people as soon as the macabre news broke. She does not possess an itchy trigger finger, unlike a certain mayor down the hall.

Preckwinkle, an uber policy wonk, is as deliberative in her actions as her words. She detailed her chief administrative officer, Robin Kelly, to do an exhaustive review of the operation.

Preckwinkle never thought she would end up standing in that cooler. Yet she had to know that by succeeding Todd Stroger, she was entering an administrative House of Horrors. For example, Jackson was reportedly a Stroger patronage hire, a certified member of his friends-and-family plan.

The morgue, like many county agencies, is charged with caring for the indigent. Those adults and infants belonged to grieving families who couldn’t afford to pay for a proper burial. Public aid funds are designated to help cover such costs, but a combination of budget cuts, incompetence and finger-pointing allowed the bodies to pile up. It was a desecration of the poorest of the poor.

Stroger always proclaimed he was their champion, but it seems the only people he really took care of were his 8th Ward cronies.

Preckwinkle may be cleaning up the Stroger legacy for a long time to come.



Recent Headlines

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

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

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

all news items

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