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.

A sad, predictable process

Friday, September 09, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by Benjamin Wolf
Letter to the Editor

Cook County Board President John Stroger's attempt to ''clarify'' procedures for conducting criminal background checks of employees at the county's Juvenile Temporary Detention Center [letters, Aug. 31] contains a further error. Stroger mistakenly accuses me of failing to cooperate fully in investigations of alleged abuse by staff at the facility. This assertion continues a sad, predictable process in which Cook County officials seek to blame others for the continuing woeful conditions at the center.

It is true that some juveniles held at the center have told me and other lawyers about specific allegations of abuse by staff at the facility. The physical abuse we have heard described is cruel, dangerous and unnecessary to ensure safety within the facility. These conversations with our clients, as Stroger certainly must know, are protected by attorney-client privilege, and we are bound to follow the direction of these clients. In many instances, juveniles held at the center direct us not to tell the county about specific incidents of abuse, fearing retribution by staff who go undisciplined after such reports are made to appropriate officials.

This fear is underscored by one recent incident in which this office had express permission to disclose the name of a staff person who was alleged to have engaged in physical abuse and sexual harassment at the facility. In that instance, leaders at the center have not contacted us -- as counsel for the individual making the complaint -- about any discipline they have imposed or about the status of any internal investigation. As far as we know, no action has been taken by the county to follow up on a very specific, very credible claim of abuse.

The county's fault here is part of a continuing failure of leadership with regard to improving conditions at the center. More than two years ago, the county reached an understanding with the ACLU of Illinois to improve conditions at the center, ending litigation that we launched in 1999. One element of that agreement was reform of the way that staff is hired, trained and managed at the center. Stroger and other county officials have failed to develop and implement this new policy. Doing so will help to protect the juveniles housed at the center. Casting aspersions at their lawyers will not.

Benjamin Wolf, associate legal director,
American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois

Recent Headlines

Cook County circuit clerk says city owes $13M in fees
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Chciago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County faces $177 million in deficits over next two budget years
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Cook County facing 'difficult and challenging' $82 million budget shortfall
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle: $82M Budget Hole Means ‘Difficult Choices’ For Cook County
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Editorial: A Chicago revival: The Lazarus of Harrison Street
Friday, June 15, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Growing food, community
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Help Squad: Consumers can file lawsuits and other legal documents online —some free via an online fee waiver
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Residents speak out as Wilmette Board introduces minimum wage and sick time ordinances
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County's bid to avoid attorney fees for paraplegic detainee backfires
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Forest Preserves Show Off To Visitors At Daley Plaza
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WBBW News Radio

Peek Inside the Old Cook County Hospital, Vacant for 16 Years
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
NBC Chicago

After 16 years, renovation underway at old Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WGN Television

Officials break ground on $1 billion overhaul of long-vacant Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

George Leighton, legendary Chicago judge and courthouse namesake, dies at 105
Thursday, June 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

George Leighton, Chicago judge for whom criminal courthouse is named, dies at 105
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County allows video gambling in unincorporated areas
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune lawsuit against Cook County sheriff dismissed
Saturday, June 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown’s office to get federal monitor for hiring practices
Friday, June 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Coyote puppies tagged, health work-ups conducted in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Special to

EDITORIAL: Justice delayed 16 months — until a reporter starts nosing around
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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