Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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.

No pension for Cook County judge who refused traffic court and quit

Friday, May 26, 2017
Chicago Tribune
by Steve Schmadeke

No pension for Cook County judge who refused traffic court and quit

1 of
John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune
The Daley Center in Chicago on April 22, 2015. A newly elected Cook County judge refused an assignment to preside over traffic court, and later quit the bench.
Steve Schmadeke, Chicago Tribune
9:13 am, May 26, 2017

The Cook County judge who resigned in April rather than face a possible inquiry from a state disciplinary agency into his refusal to work in traffic court won't be walking away with an Illinois pension.

Former Judge Richard Cooke, 50, needed to work at least 8 years before he could begin collecting a pension from his $194,000-a-year job, according to a state retirement system representative. If he had made it that long, Cooke would've collected an annual pension worth about a quarter of his pay.

Cooke, who was elected in November, made waves after lending his campaign an unprecedented $660,000. He was slated in a Northwest Side subcircuit by the Democratic Party after directing nearly $70,000 to politicians.

But after refusing a traffic court assignment — the place almost all new judges get their start — Cooke was sent to marriage court. Just days after the Tribune began asking questions, a committee of 17 presiding judges headed by Chief Judge Tim Evans voted to refer Cooke to the state agency that handles judicial discipline.

Cooke resigned soon after, ending any possible investigation by the Judicial Inquiry Board. The episode left many of his fellow judges, who declined to talk on the record, shaking their heads in bewilderment wondering why Cooke thought he could leapfrog over more experienced jurists to a more sought-after assignment.

But Cooke doesn't have to walk away with nothing. If he asks for a refund, he's entitled to five months of payments he made into the pension system, according to figures provided under an open-records request.

That's $8,639.93.


Recent Headlines

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to

Cook County Jail detainee dies at Stroger Hospital
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Pro Publica

Charges dismissed against man accused of threatening judge
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Daily Herald

Double Down: Twin Brothers Rehabbing Chicago
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Defender

Slowik: Residents, officials celebrate rehab work at public housing sites
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Daily Southtown

Class action: Evanston can't charge 'convenience fees' to people paying tickets online
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Cook County Rercord

390 arrested in nationwide prostitution sting, including 38 in Cook County
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

As we build a road, we will protect the forest preserves
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Campaign to weed out European buckthorn across the suburbs
Tuesday, February 05, 2019
Northwest Herald

Airbnb hosts in Cook County earned $109 million last year: report
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County senior exemption deadline extended
Monday, February 04, 2019
Daily Herald

Decadelong legal battle over Barrington Hills horse farm — eyed as huge forest preserve — may be nearing resolution
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: Protect iconic forest preserve from concrete overkill
Sunday, February 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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