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:  
   
 
 

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 Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Cook County mulls $380K settlement in alleged jail sex assault of Minnesota woman

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick

The Cook County Board on Wednesday is expected to approve paying $380,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a Minnesota woman who alleged that sheriff's correctional officers and supervisors ignored her repeated complaints about being sexually assaulted and badly beaten during a 27-day stint behind bars.

According to the suit, filed by prominent attorney Kathleen Zellner, the then-26-year-old woman "experienced the full panoply of abuses that the well-established culture of sadism and violence (that the jail) had to offer."

The woman was booked into the County Jail in November 2013 on local drug charges and was awaiting extradition to another state on separate drug charges, the suit states. She was targeted by other detainees who labeled her with terms like "snow bunny, cracker and Pocahontas" after making "comments about her being cute and white," the lawsuit alleged.

After refusing to exchange sexual favors for commissary items, another female detainee charged with murder sexually assaulted the woman in a shower while two other detainees stood guard, according to the suit, which preserved the woman's anonymity by identifying her as "Jane Doe."

The woman repeatedly was kicked after that incident and later attacked twice because she was deemed a "snitch" for reporting the initial assault, the lawsuit states. She suffered a broken nose, busted tooth and a deep cut to her thigh from a sharp object during the last two attacks, the suit adds.

"All of this occurred with the full knowledge and complicity of the officers and their supervisors," the lawsuit states. The legal filing goes on to accuse a nurse and mental health specialists at Cermak Hospital, where jail detainees are treated, of fabricating reports that omitted the woman's sexual assault allegations and failing to document stitches she needed for wounds to her thigh and face.

The state's attorney's office recommended the settlement. Rarely does the County Board reject such a settlement once it has reached that stage. Cara Smith, the jail's former executive director who now is policy chief for Sheriff Tom Dart, made it clear that her office was conceding no wrongdoing in the matter.

"At the time the case was filed, continuing to the time that the decision by the state's attorney's office was made to settle this case, we have vehemently denied its allegations," said Smith, who initially was named in the lawsuit but later dismissed as a defendant. "We took no position on the settlement of the case."

Commissioner Peter Silvestri, R-Elmwood Park, who is chairman of the Finance Subcommittee on Litigation that reviewed the settlement, declined to comment on the specifics of the case. "We go to great lengths to do what's best for the county and taxpayers," he added.

Zellner also declined to comment.

hdardick@chicagotribune.com



Recent Headlines

How Trump's Obamacare subsidy cuts could affect your county
Monday, October 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Toni Preckwinkle on Soda Tax Repeal, County Budget Shortfall
Monday, October 16, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County soda tax repeal garners mixed reactions from Evanston restaurants
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Daily Northwestern

The soda tax was repealed, but Cook County still has to find a way to fund the government
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Chicago Reader

Fired sheriff’s officer wins lawsuit; could undo dozens of firings
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

How to Win Against Big Soda
Sunday, October 15, 2017
New York Times

Inspector general's report alleges nepotism, political influence in south suburban sanitary district
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Chicago Tribune

7-Eleven settles lawsuit with customer over soda tax charge
Friday, October 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County officials faced with $200M budget gap after pop tax repeal
Friday, October 13, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County officials faced with $200M budget gap after pop tax repeal
Friday, October 13, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

The Week in Review: Soda Tax Fizzles Out
Friday, October 13, 2017
WTTW The Week in Review

Justice Department latest sanctuary city move on Chicago, Cook County
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Finding hope, promise in the wreckage of the Cook County soda tax
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pop tax one step away from repeal after 15-1 test vote
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board repeals soda tax
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Why I voted to keep Cook County's soda tax
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Morning Spin: Vote to repeal pop tax expected today
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County officials vote 15-1 to repeal sugary drink tax
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
ABC 7 Chicago

County Board moves to kill pop tax
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

STEINBERG: After Cook County scraps its soda tax, try a tax on deceit
Monday, October 09, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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