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:  
   
 
 

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.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



Preckwinkle picks new county ethics watchdog
Dismissal of predecessor raises issue of county board president's ties to Berrios

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Tuesday named a new county ethics chief to replace the one she dumped during an investigation into Assessor Joseph Berrios, a political ally.

Ranjit Hakim, an attorney at Mayer Brown who has represented the city on state and federal constitutional issues, was picked to take the top spot at the Board of Ethics. Hakim, who donated $2,750 to President Barack Obama-associated campaign funds, is expected to start next week in the $110,000-a-year job.

He'll replace MaryNic Foster, who quietly left her post as executive director in mid-May. Last year, the Foster-led ethics board sought to fine Berrios $10,000 for allegedly violating county nepotism rules and recommended he fire his sister and son. Berrios hired them for high-paying positions shortly after taking office in late 2010.

Preckwinkle spokeswoman Kristen Mack said the change would not alter the pursuit of the case against Berrios. Preckwinkle "decided to make a change in leadership," Mack said in an email. "She changed the person, not the policy or the mission of the ethics board."

Foster, an appointee of former Board President Todd Stroger, has not always been on the same page as Preckwinkle. Late last year, Foster convinced the board to alter Preckwinkle's budget proposal, with commissioners agreeing that the board president's new organizational plan would have hampered the ethics board's independence.

The ongoing efforts to sanction Berrios have put Preckwinkle in a political predicament. She has expressed support for the investigation, but has been continually careful to describe Berrios, chairman of the county Democratic Party, as "a friend" who otherwise is doing a fine job as assessor.

Foster, whose dismissal was first reported by the Sun-Times, said she was not given a reason for being let go.

"I understand I serve at the pleasure of the president," she said. "That's the nature of the position. It is the president's prerogative to have someone she wants in that position."

Foster, a 21-year veteran of the office who led it for five years before her departure, also defended her work.

"I think we did the best we could with the resources we had," said Foster, who noted that she also ran the Human Rights and Women's Issues commissions. Combined, the three agencies have fewer than a dozen employees and annual funding of less than $900,000.

The ethics board concluded Berrios violated county nepotism rules, but Berrios contended that as a separately elected countywide official, he is not subject to the ethics ordinance enacted by the board. This year, the ethics board got a judge to approve the hiring of former city Inspector General David Hoffman as a special prosecutor to press its case against Berrios.



Recent Headlines

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

Recovery Behind Bars: Cook County Jailís 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 suffredin.org

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
WTTW News

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.
^ TOP