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:  
   
 
 

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.
   
     
     
     



New medical examiner confirmed to run troubled Cook County morgue

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by LISA DONOVAN

Dr. Stephen Cina, a Florida forensic pathologist, was officially hired Tuesday as Cook County’s new chief medical examiner, but he admitted that some of his pals in the business asked him why he wanted to run the embattled morgue.

“My friends and colleagues have asked me why I want this position, as it is widely viewed as incredibly challenging in the medical examiner community,” he told Cook County commissioners during a Tuesday afternoon confirmation hearing.

“I love Chicago and Cook County, and I really love a challenge,” Cina told commissioners before they voted to hire the 47-year-old chief administrative officer at the University of Miami Tissue Bank, during a roughly two hour confirmation hearing.

But he added: “I can’t do it alone,” imploring the help of county commissioners and the staff he’ll manage.

And those same friends and colleagues, according to Cina, say he’s up to the challenges of running the $6.8 million operation. Those challenges range from improving technology to filling vacant positions to cutting burial costs for some of the indigent, which means looking harder at the less-expensive option of cremation.

Cina is set to start Sept. 10, nine months after the Sun-Times first reported that bodies were piling up in a body storage cooler at the West Side facility— a scene so horrendous that a medical staff employee called it “sacrilegious.” Employees said the stench was so awful — apparently from bodily fluid pooling on the floor of the cooler — that after the Sun-Times reported the complaints the state labor department launched an investigation.

The crowded cooler was the result of the slashed state funding for burials of those on public aid, but Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle also blamed morgue management.

In the end, Medical Examiner Nancy Jones announced she’d step down Aug. 1 and one of her top deputies was forced to resign this month.

Confident and steady Dr. Cina fielded questions and addressed concerns from county commissioners wanting to know everything from which celebrity he most looked like to how he’d balance running the morgue — which handles everything from homicides to unattended deaths and where more than 5,000 autopsies are conducted each year — with a forensic pathology consulting business.

He vowed to follow county rules on side jobs and a top aide to Preckwinkle, whose office oversees the medical examiner’s office, will have to keep an eye on that to make sure the two jobs don’t conflict.

“At first it’s a 60-plus hour a week job,” he said, noting that in addition to doing autopsies, he’ll be meeting with law enforcement, which relies on medical examiner’s work in homicides and other investigations, as well as other work outside the office.

As for his star double?

“We could not get past who you really look like — who do you think we thought you look like?” Commissioner Deborah Sims, a South suburban Democrat, asked during a lighter moment.

Cina replied: “The wrong answer is Kenny Rogers after plastic surgery, the right answer would be Sean Connery….”

Sims admitted: “We thought you looked a lot like Burt Reynolds.”

While it’s going to take money to meet some of Cina’s goals, Commissioner Tim Schneider, northwest suburban Republican, reminded Cina that these are lean fiscal times in county government.

Cina said that when he started at the tissue bank a year ago they were dealing with a shortage of staffing but were still able to increase donations and revenues.

He said he’s well aware of the partial hiring freeze at the county and the projected $267.5 million budget deficit next year.

“I don’t believe we have a blank check for the office,” Cina said, noting that changes and improvements will be done over time.

In the end Tuesday, the county board voted 13-1 to confirm Cina, with Commissioner John Fritchey casting the sole “no” vote. Commissioner William Beavers voted “present.”

Fritchey said it’s nothing personal, but that he simply had more questions than answers about Cina and his credentials.

Cina will earn $300,000 – a 30 percent increase over his predecessor – and serve a 5-year term.




Recent Headlines

Cook County board to vote on new budget today
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
WGN Channel 9

Preckwinkle agrees to fewer Cook County job cuts; hundreds of layoffs still in works
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Teamsters Local 700 Files for Temporary Restraining Order Against Cook County Merit Board
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

How Cook County finally got a new budget
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

ONTIVEROS: I think I miss that soda pop tax
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Budget Cuts Expected For Cook County Public Guardian’s Office
Monday, November 20, 2017
CBS Chicago

Ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says he's running again
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

More than 300 Cook County employees will lose jobs to balance budget
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail Population Down 15 Percent After Bond Reforms
Monday, November 20, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Stroger vs. Preckwinkle: Hide your wallets.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

After momentous week, prosecutor Kim Foxx says 'we have to right wrongs'
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

MIHALOPOULOS: Will pop-tax anger unseat Preckwinkle, or fizzle out?
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment
Friday, November 17, 2017
NBC Chicago

Watchdog: Quit stalling on Cook County justice system data
Friday, November 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

The Week in Review: Record Wave of Exonerations Tied to Rogue Cop
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle, some commissioners say enough votes for amended budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Nothing Pleasant About Hundreds Of Layoffs
Friday, November 17, 2017
CBS Chicago

Cook County commissioners get behind Preckwinkle's budget cuts
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Chuy Garcia Sole Cook County Commissioner Iffy on Budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

all news items

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