Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown asked for a pay raise Tuesday to address what she called a "grossly inequitable" salary compared to that of other county officials.
In a letter to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the county board, Brown asked for a pay hike that would be "fair and equitable to close the disparity gap" between her position and that of four other county public safety positions. The letter was also sent Tuesday night to members of Chicago newspaper editorial boards, including the Daily Herald.
Brown makes a base salary of $105,000, while the sheriff makes $160,000, the chief judge $188,076, the state's attorney $192,789, and the public defender $194,574. Brown argued there was no explanation for the difference since all of the positions are responsible for handling the same number of criminal cases.
Brown's salary, however, is the same as the county clerk, assessor, treasurer and recorder of deeds.
The circuit court clerk in Lake County makes $121,713; the pay is $155,958 in DuPage County.
Brown says there hasn't been a salary increase for the position in 16 years, and it's the first time she's made such a request.
Brown, a 15-year incumbent, won the Democratic primary election in March and faces Republican Diane Shapiro in November.