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.

  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case

Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune
by Gregory Pratt

CHICAGO ó State's Attorney Kim Foxx has asked Cook County's inspector general to investigate her office's handling of "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett's criminal case, she confirmed Friday.

Inspector General Patrick Blanchard revealed the request in a letter Thursday to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, county commissioners, Preckwinkle's top staff and Foxx.

"This letter is written to inform you that this office has received a request by State's Attorney Kim Foxx to conduct an Office of the Independent Inspector General review of the circumstances surrounding the resolution of criminal charges formerly pending against Jussie Smollett," Blanchard wrote in the letter, obtained by the Tribune. "As you may recall, the office of the Cook County State's Attorney has previously objected to the exercise of jurisdiction by this office over the SAO in relation to other unrelated issues. State's Attorney Foxx has stated that her office will cooperate during the course of this review notwithstanding prior objections to OIIG jurisdiction.

"Accordingly," Blanchard added, "this office will proceed with this review" under the county's inspector general law.

Preckwinkle's office declined to comment.

In a statement, Foxx lauded Blanchard.

"A former prosecutor, Inspector General Blanchard has been conducting independent inquiries for Cook County for over a decade," Foxx said. "Ensuring that I and my office have the community's trust and confidence is paramount to me, which is why I invited an independent review of this matter. I welcome this investigation and pledge my full cooperation and the cooperation of my office as IG Blanchard conducts his review."

Thanks for reading.
Subscribe or log in to continue.

In a statement, Blanchard said his office "is pursuing an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the resolution of criminal charges in the Smollet case. This will be accomplished in accordance with the protocols established by this office."

Blanchard is no stranger to high-profile investigations. Last October he concluded that billionaire gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker improperly received $330,000 in property tax breaks on one of his Gold Coast mansions as part of a "scheme to defraud" taxpayers. Pritzker repaid the money, won the governor's race and denied wrongdoing.

Blanchard also concluded that an SUV driven "nearly exclusively" by Preckwinkle's security chief was illegally used to transport political materials, including campaign literature for Foxx, and successfully battled former Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios over whether Blanchard had authority to investigate his office.

Smollett, who is African-American and openly gay, found himself at the center of an international media firestorm after he reported being the victim of a Jan. 29 attack by two people who shouted the slurs, hit him and wrapped a noose around his neck. Police initially treated the incident as a hate crime, but their focus turned to Smollett after two brothers who were alleged to have been his attackers told detectives that Smollett had paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, with a promise of an additional $500 later.

In a stunning about-face, however, Foxx's office dropped the 16-count indictment it had secured against Smollett at an unannounced court hearing March 26.

The move to drop charges has provoked fierce criticism.

Outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has sued to try to force Smollett to reimburse Chicago for its expenses investigating the alleged hoax even all charges against the "Empire" actor were dropped.

Recent Headlines

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to

Cook County Assessorís Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZís Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the regionís sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawmakers Look To Keep 10-Year-Olds Out Of Jail
Thursday, April 04, 2019

Property Tax Workshops Help Homeowners Appeal Assessments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Large crowds of Evanston residents turn out to appeal property tax assessments
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Family of slain cabbie accuses Cook County state's attorney's office of dodging FOIA request
Monday, April 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property Tax Appeal Seminar Set For New Trier Township Residents
Monday, April 01, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

all news items

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