Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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



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

Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele dies
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

10 reasons Cook County must rethink the sweetened beverage tax
Friday, June 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County Jail inmates charged in sex assault of female detainee in court lockup
Friday, June 16, 2017
WLS ABC Channel 7 Chicago

Why it's foolish not to appeal your property tax assessment
Friday, June 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

OPINION: Kennedy making a convincing case for ‘radical’ property-tax ideas
Friday, June 16, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Elgin wants state, feds to raise minimum wage to 'a living wage'
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

How property tax assessments in Cook County favor the rich
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County to stop prosecuting some traffic offenses because it lacks resources, Foxx's office says
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

2016 Cook County property tax rates: Look up your town, estimate your bill
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Sand Ridge Nature Center to host annual Juneteenth Celebration
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

Road projects mark Winnetka, Wilmette landscapes this summer
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Competence at the assessor's office: Too much to ask?
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Joseph Berrios: Cook County Assessments ‘Fair and Accurate’
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
WWT Chicago Tonight

County assessor responds to claims of unfair property values assessment
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
WLS Chicago

The High Costs for Out of School and Jobless Youth in Chicago and Cook County
Monday, June 12, 2017
The Great Cities Institute of UIC

Bombshell report from Alvarez office explodes case against 'innocence industry'
Monday, June 12, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Bail reform in Cook County gains momentum
Monday, June 12, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Kim Foxx: Low-risk defendants should go free before trial
Monday, June 12, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Glenview Trustees Vote To Opt Out of Minimum Wage Increase
Monday, June 12, 2017
Glenview Patch

Cook County Jail exits federal oversight of more than 40 years
Monday, June 12, 2017
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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