Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

Is there a problem here?

Friday, September 09, 2005
Chicago Tribune

In their first public discussion of the waste and patronage abuses that exist at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, county commissioners Thursday yammered, shouted, insulted each other and tossed around accusations of political posturing. What a performance it was.

A Tribune editorial page series has detailed that more than 7 percent of the staffers at the detention center have criminal convictions, that kids live in filthy conditions, employees spend their days standing idle and rack up astonishing sums of overtime pay. The primary qualification for a top job is having a political connection to County Board President John Stroger.

A handful of commissioners tried to respond in honest fashion, pressing resolutions to conduct an independent management audit of the detention center and to assemble an independent panel to review operations there.

Stroger's response? He said that it was his job to defend the detention center.

In a comical, six-hour board meeting, Stroger and several other commissioners went to incredible lengths to ignore the problems staring them in the face. A sampling of the discourse:

Stroger objected to the charge that some employees at the center got their jobs through political connections. "Stop beating up on these people who I hired! I know how everybody in this room got their jobs."

Commissioner Joan Murphy objected to the resolution calling for an independent management audit of the center: "What does this do to the morale of employees over there?"

Commissioner Bobbie Steele objected to the wording of the resolution, which pointed to allegations of wrongdoing. "I feel strongly not only about the inflammatory language but about the liability here if this is found to be untrue."

Commissioner Deborah Sims objected to the length of the board meeting: "It's 3 p.m. and I haven't eaten lunch!"

At least Commissioner Earlean Collins, who heads the committee that addresses detention center issues, says she wants immediate hearings to investigate problems at the center.

Some improvements are under way at the center with the oversight of Jerry Robinson, the new superintendent who started this summer. A biometric time clock will be installed requiring employees to sign in and out with their fingerprints. The center's nine shifts will be reduced to five. There will be better scrutiny of overtime.

These are welcome actions. But they're like aiming a peashooter at the problem when a bazooka is needed.

An average of 450 youths, ages 10 to 17, live at the detention center, which is designed to hold them in a secure facility until their cases are adjudicated and to help them turn their lives around. "If we don't do something to help them now," said Commissioner Larry Suffredin, "soon there are going to be 450 adults in penitentiaries in this state."

That wasn't political posturing. That was common sense.

Recent Headlines

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Neighborhood program helps Cook County residents buy homes
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Judge upholds Cook County firearm, ammunition taxes
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: E-filing should make Cook County courts more accessible. It doesn't
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County tax incentive could pave way for Wingstop, Dunkin' Donuts on Elgin's Summit Street
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

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 arenít 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

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

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

all news items

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