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



Cook Sheriff: Backpage, attorneys owe Cook County for 'hoax' suit over sheriff's credit card squeeze

Friday, April 27, 2018
Cook County Record
by Scott Holland

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart wants a federal judge to penalize Backpage.com for its conduct in ongoing litigation between the online classifieds site and the sheriff’s office, particularly in light of a recent plea deal from a top executive related to sex trafficking through the site.

Dart filed a motion April 26 in Chicago asking U.S. District Judge John J. Tharp Jr. to require Backpage.com LLC and its attorneys to pay the county for its legal fees in connection with a legal battle that dates back to 2015, when the Dallas-based online classified advertising site obtained a preliminary injunction blocking the sheriff’s office from working to discourage credit card companies from processing payments for the site.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart

Dart said he and his staff were targeting Backpage because the company allegedly didn’t do enough to help police purge advertisements from its site linked to sex trafficking.

In late 2017, Backpage had asked the court to order sanctions against Dart, for allegedly attempting to wrongly conceal documents and communications under the alleged guise of attorney-client privilege. Dart, however, responded in January with a motion arguing Backpage was simply attempting to distract from the case that law enforcement around the country were building against it.

In the sheriff's offices April 26 motion, Dart said Backpage admitted on April 5 — in a federal plea agreement from Backpage CEO and owner Carl Ferrer — that “its entire First Amendment civil rights case was based on untrue facts from the beginning, and thus a hoax, a fraud on this Court, a fraud on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and a fraud on the United States Supreme Court.”

The motion also accused Backpage of squandering taxpayer resources “under the guise of a civil rights plaintiff in its phony lawsuit, simultaneously fighting off the advances of law enforcement so that it could continue to make hundreds of millions of dollars from its enterprise that admittedly facilitated and promoted prostitution and child trafficking.”

Dart liberally cited Ferrer’s plea, in which he acknowledged “the great majority” of the advertisements in question were for prostitution services and therefore illegal in 49 states. He also said he “conspired with other Backpage principals … to find ways to knowingly facilitate the state-law prostitution crimes being committed by Backpage’s customers” and acknowledged “an overall, company-wide culture and policy of concealing and refusing to officially acknowledge the true nature of the services being offered in Backpage’s ‘escort’ and ‘adult’ ads.’ ”

The motion also pointed out that even if Backpage’s lawyers — Schiff Hardin, of Chicago; Henze, Cook & Murphy, of Phoenix; and Davis Wright Tremaine, with offices in Seattle and Washington, D.C. — didn’t know the truths underlying Ferrer’s plea, “they were presented with an abundance of opportunities from very early on in this case to know that their client was lying to the Court about the critical issues. They then either learned of these lies but did nothing or stuck their heads in the sand.”

Dart laid out a timeline explaining various points at which Backpage’s lawyers should have learned the company “was lying to the court,” starting with a June 19, 2015, interview the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations conducted with Backpage general counsel Elizabeth McDougall during which she wouldn’t “answer critical questions regarding Backpage’s procedures for screening for illegal content.”

The chronology included Sept. 26 and Dec. 23, 2016, California indictments of Ferrer that revealed “direct evidence” of Ferrer’s lies, and continued into September 2017 when Dart sought subpoenas for evidence — discovered in the Philippines in an unrelated case — of Backpage’s engagement in criminal activities.

In addition to seeking legal fees, Dart asked the court to allow limited discovery, to conduct an evidentiary hearing on sanctions against Backpage’s attorneys and permit “supplemental briefing on the appropriateness and amount of sanctions.”

Dart is represented by the firm of Kozacky Weitzel McGratch P.C., of Chicago.

 



Recent Headlines

Special prosecutor billed Cook County nearly 50K for Van Dyke murder case
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board votes in favor of $4 million settlement in Stroger medical malpractice case
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Judge bucks Cook County law, says boys as young as 10 can be locked up
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Village of Northbrook Opts Back In to the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance
Monday, October 15, 2018
National Law Review

Chicago health system to add 240+ jobs
Monday, October 15, 2018
Becker's Hospital Review

Fired doctor sues county, loses whistleblower claim
Friday, October 12, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County health system to add jobs
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

No layoffs or tax hike in mayoral hopeful Preckwinkle’s proposed county budget
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

'Inclusionary' housing ordinance rewrite advances
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Evanston Now

Faced with tight budgets, more Illinois counties merge clerk, recorder offices
Monday, October 08, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Class action: Hundreds of Cook Sheriff officer suspensions invalid, because State's Attorney not involved
Friday, October 05, 2018
Cook County Record

One Cook County judge bucks chief judge’s order against unaffordably high bail
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Game of thrones? Watchdog sees ‘scheme to defraud’ in Pritzker toilet tax break
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Board approves $31M election equipment contract despite lawsuit; $11M to settle 2 malpractice lawsuits
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County approves new election equipment contract, despite rival firm’s lawsuit
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Top prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes as 18 convictions linked to corrupt cop vacated
Monday, September 24, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

all news items

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