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.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



Editorial: The Supreme Court serves notice
Chief justice summons Cook County officials for an intervention

Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Chicago Tribune

The elected officials who preside over the creaky Cook County Circuit Court system just got summoned to the principal's office.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride, in a Sept. 26 letter, has called for Chief Judge Timothy Evans, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, Sheriff Tom Dart, Public Defender Abishi Cunningham and court administrator Michael Tardy to meet with the members of the state Supreme Court. The purpose: frank talk about the operations of the criminal courts.

Kilbride has also invited Eric Washington, chief judge of the Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals, who is well-versed in court management issues. Make no mistake, this is an extraordinary turn of events. The Illinois Supreme Court generally is quite reluctant to step into the operations of local courts.

It didn't have much choice in this case, not after Preckwinkle pleaded for help in a Sept. 12 letter to Justice Lloyd Karmeier. She requested that a judge from outside Cook County be assigned to help process delayed criminal cases. She also asked the court to convene a commission to audit the system and to develop long-term solutions to the problem.

"During my tenure, I have been disheartened to discover that our county's administration of justice is not in accordance with the standards the residents of the state of Illinois both deserve and are entitled to under the law," she wrote.

The county's chronically slow resolution of criminal cases is unfair to crime victims, to defendants and to taxpayers — housing an inmate costs $143 per day, according to Preckwinkle's office.

The sheriff's office reports that more than 300 inmates have waited three years or more for their cases to conclude, 55 of them for five years or more. On the civil side, many people who rely on the courts to settle their cases — divorces, child custody, foster care — face a long, expensive haul from start to finish.

We're relieved to see the Supreme Court get involved. Judge Evans has been reluctant to acknowledge serious problems in the administration of his courts. He and the other stakeholders invited to Kilbride's meeting have strained relationships. There's little trust among them. They need — we need — an intervention.

It's also time for an independent audit of the court's operations. "Every business across the country does audits," says Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke. "We definitely need to look at our system through a diagnostic audit. It has to be transparent. We need to know where we stand. How long does it take a person in our system to go to trial?"

This isn't uncharted territory. Other counties and other states have improved efficiency by implementing electronic case filing, video conferencing of bond hearings and cameras in the courtrooms, which let the public see how the courts are working. The leaders of other court systems have forced lollygagging judges to step up and put in a full day's work.

In New York City, court officials frustrated with the slow pace of justice in Bronx courtrooms put an outside judge in charge. In less than a year, Justice Patricia DiMango transformed the Bronx courts into a fair and efficient system, resolving hundreds of cases that had lingered for two years or more.

It could happen here. It's overdue.

The Illinois Supreme Court has taken a positive step, but one trip to the principal's office won't get it done. The justices have to be in this for the long haul.



Recent Headlines

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials aren’t sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board Adopts Resolution Concerned With Foxconn Impacts
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

FBI: Ex-employee alleges Dorothy Brown picked up cash payoffs at bagman's home
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Demolition of MWRD dam to clear way for fish and recreation
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff Tom Dart to pair inmates with pet dogs
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Minimum Wage, Sick Time Advisory Questions Approved for November Ballot
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

Editorial: Berrios and Kaegi: What a new assessor can and can't fix
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Your Personal Data May Be Exposed in Cook County Traffic Records
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
CBS Chicago

Garcia avoids public tiff with Preckwinkle, delays plan for county revenue forecasting commission
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County TIF districts bring in $1 billion
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County board moves to prevent repeat of pop tax fiasco
Friday, July 20, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County forest worker was going 76 mph in 30 mph zone, had THC in system during fatal crash while on job: prosecutors
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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