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.

  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.

Cook County Circuit Court Clerk's land deal investigated
Dorothy Brown, husband got parcel for free, sold it for $100,000

Friday, May 09, 2014
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick

Cook County prosecutors are investigating a land deal that netted Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown and her husband tens of thousands of dollars with no money down, the Tribune has learned.

Brown's husband, Benton Cook III, confirmed that a grand jury is probing the deal, which saw him get a North Lawndale building for free from a longtime campaign contributor to Brown.

The court clerk quickly became a co-owner, and her company sold the parcel for $100,000 to a Frankfort real estate developer who'd long had his eye on it. The developer said Thursday that he testified before a grand jury earlier this year about how he came to acquire the land.

The investigation of the land deal comes as State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's office also is looking at money Cook received as part of a controversial state anti-violence program that Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn launched in fall 2010 as he was locked in a close election campaign. County prosecutors have issued subpoenas seeking documents related to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative and specifically requested information about the agency that hired Cook.

Cook confirmed the grand jury probe into his land deal during a brief phone conversation Thursday and referred further questions to his lawyer, Edward Genson, a prominent criminal defense attorney. Genson defended Cook's involvement in the grant program and said he was unaware of any investigation into the land deal.

Musa Tadros, the owner of south suburban Frankfort-based Crown Commercial Real Estate and Development, told the Tribune that he testified before a grand jury in January or February about the land deal.

Alvarez isn't the only one interested in the transaction.

Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard, who previously has conducted joint investigations with Alvarez, confirmed Thursday that his office also is looking into the land deal but declined to answer further questions.

The deal involved a 2,275-square-foot, triangle-shaped property on South Pulaski Road where it meets Ogden Avenue and Cermak Road. It was owned by Narendra Patel, a longtime campaign donor to Brown and a west suburban businessman.

In June 2011, Patel gave the property to Cook without payment, county real estate documents show. Within months of receiving the property, Cook put it in his name and Brown's. Later they transferred it to the Sankofa Group, a for-profit company Brown set up years earlier.

In late 2012, Tadros bought the land for $100,000 from Brown's company, county documents show.

Tadros said he had tried for years to buy the property from Patel, only to be rebuffed.

"He never really wanted to sell it to me," said Tadros, who added that he plans to meet with the county inspector general. "He didn't want to sell."

The old building on the property was an eyesore, one that detracted from the view of Tadros' nearby shopping center. After buying the property, he razed the building.

Tadros said he started talking to Cook about buying the property after Cook came to him and asked to rent parking spaces in the lot of Tadros' shopping center. They worked out a deal in which Tadros would buy the property and Cook would be rented space to sell meat in the shopping center.

Sankofa Group had at least contemplated various business ventures like selling meat, operating vending machines and cleaning windows, according to state documents. Cook never opened the meat shop there, Tadros said.

Asked why Patel gave the property to Brown's husband, Patel attorney Robert Orman said his client wanted to unload it because the taxes and upkeep on a vacant office building in a troubled neighborhood had become a drag on the bottom line.

"It was essentially unsalable at the time," said Orman, who added that Tadros had made a "trivial offer" for the property years earlier.

"(The property) was an albatross."

Orman said there was a lien for $29,000 on the property at the time of sale that reduced its value by that amount. The land deal was first reported in late November by WFLD-Ch. 32 news and the Better Government Association.

Recent Headlines

Cook County Land Bank Authority Announces Opening of Registration to Give Away a Free Home
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The Chicago Crusader

Friday, August 09, 2019
Illinois Policy

Top Cook County Jail chess players take on the world
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Public defender takes shots at Chicago Police gun offender webpage
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Commentary: Data alone won’t stop Chicago gun violence; Cook County needs a public ‘Violence Reduction Dashboard’
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Jail detainees take on inmates around the world in online chess tournament
Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Ongoing Bail Debate In Chicago
Monday, August 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Jail hosts international chess tournament
Monday, August 05, 2019
WGN Chicago

Cook County property taxes are due today, Aug. 1.
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Special to

Forest Preserves of Cook County Celebrate Dan Ryan Woods Investments
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Defender

Cook County TIFs generate $1.2 billion
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Changes coming to Cook County assessor’s office
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

In Chicago, TIF Revenues Soaring
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A controversial tax subsidy program will generate a record $1.2 billion in revenue. Here’s what the number means for Chicago.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Group to rally in support of Kim Foxx as challengers emerge
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Report: Incarceration Rates Drop Nearly 20% Under Kim Foxx
Monday, July 29, 2019
WTTW Chicago

Lightfoot blames bond court reform for gun violence
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Chicago Reporter

Cook County Health Hires Audit Firm To Review Scathing Inspector General Report
Thursday, July 25, 2019

Former County Commissioner Shocked Animal Abuser Registry He Worked To Create Was Never Used
Thursday, July 25, 2019
CBS Chicago

No one on County Board sharing Arroyo’s view of inspector general
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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