Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
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 Board of Ethics appoints new chair after previous two ousted amid earlier shakeups

Thursday, September 17, 2020
Chicago Tribune
by Alice Yin

The board in charge of enforcing Cook County’s ethics ordinance on Thursday ushered in a new chair, the third to hold the position this year after a series of recent member shake-ups.

Thomas Szromba, currently the longest serving of four members seated on the Cook County Ethics Board, was voted in without opposition to be the panel’s next chair.

“He’s had the most tenure right now, and I think it’s important to maintain consistency with the work that the board is doing,” board member Von Matthews said during a virtual board meeting.

Szromba is principal senior counsel at Boeing, where he has worked for more than a decade. Before that he served stints as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago and as a counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The ethics board enforces the county’s ethics ordinance, which sets rules on how more than 20,000 county employees and officials should conduct themselves. Five unpaid board members are tasked with investigating complaints of ethics ordinance violations, spearheadingaudits, drafting up recommendations and other guidance — although currently only four members are on the board.

Szromba’s appointment came during the board’s first meeting since the pandemic and after Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle ousted the two previous chairs. Former Chair Margaret “Peggy” Daley left in January after Preckwinkle, who is in charge of appointing and reappointing ethics board members, opted not to renew Daley’s term. That led Daley’s colleague David Grossman to resign in protest.

Months later, Preckwinkle told Daley’s replacement as chair, Juliet Sorensen, that her tenure on the ethics board would wrap up in June.

“As board members' terms were set to expire, we wanted to give other members of the public an opportunity to serve,” Preckwinkle spokesman Nick Shields told the Tribune in August.Daley and Sorensen have said they think otherwise, and wondered whether their attempts to roll out proposed reforms to the ethics ordinance irked Preckwinkle.

The proposed revisions to Cook County’s ethics ordinance, which the ethics board voted to recommend in January, included forbidding nepotism in county hiring and county commissioners from taking certain outside jobs. They also would mandate lobbyists disclose if they have relatives who work for the county, introduce new rules to clamp down on sexual harassment, prohibit the state’s attorney from settling ethics lawsuits without the ethics board’s approval and increase fines for certain ethics violations.

Cook County Board Commissioner Larry Suffredin, D-Evanston, has said he plans to file an amendment to the ethics ordinance during the next Board of Commissioners meeting on Sept. 24 that will include many of the ethics board’s proposals.

David Orr, former Cook County clerk and founder of the political action committee Good Government Illinois, said Szromba is a “very capable” choice for chair, but he worried about forces outside the ethics board impeding him in his mission.

“Ethics legislation is always a difficult sort of challenge, but the real challenge is political interference," Orr said.

CONTACT

Alice Yin works the overnight shift at the Tribune, responsible for covering whatever breaks. She is a Medill School of Journalism graduate and was a statehouse reporter for the Associated Press in Michigan before being hired last summer by the Sun-Times. Alice likes to explore new restaurants, go jogging and frequent bookshops.


Recent Headlines

Thursday’s the deadline for sending in your mail-in ballot application. If you miss it, here are some options.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Sheriff says ‘communities will be safer’ in regards to changes in electronic monitoring
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
WGN Channel 9 News

Voting at Cook County Jail Sees 40% Turnout for General Election
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
WTTW News

Antibody drug tested in Cook County may be helpful to some COVID-19 patients, results show
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Chicago Tribune

COOK COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE 2020 Schedule for The Family &Friends Network
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County launches jobs training, placement program for suburbs as stricter COVID-19 measures go into effect
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Supreme Court expands volunteer program to cut backlog of appeals in criminal cases
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Community Recovery Initiative: Cash and Utility Assistance
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Behind the scenes look at Cook County mail-in ballot processing for 2020 election
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
ABC 7 WLS Chicago

How to apply for Cook County coronavirus relief payments
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago restaurants close for winter as COVID case counts rise
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Suburban Cook voters can stop fretting over fate of mail ballots — but final results are another matter
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Suburban Cook County ‘on pace’ to shatter all previous voting records in last week of election, clerk says
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Chicago Tribune

‘Blindsided and heartbroken.’ Mood of restaurant, bar owners dismal as COVID restrictions are back in suburban Cook
Monday, October 26, 2020
Chicago Tribune

State to implement additional mitigation measures in suburban Cook County
Monday, October 26, 2020
Cook County Department of Public Health

State Public Health Officials Announce COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations to Take Effect in Regions 4 and 10 on October 28, 2020
Monday, October 26, 2020
Illinois Dept. of Public Health

Cook County property tax revenue rising faster than inflation and wages, study says
Monday, October 26, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Struggling suburban Cook County residents can apply for one-time cash payment
Monday, October 26, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County to give direct payments to suburban residents hurt by COVID-19 pandemic: ‘What they need is cash’
Monday, October 26, 2020
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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