Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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.

EDITORIAL: ‘Do you know who I am?’ Not yet, but we sure know your type

Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times
by Sun-Times Editorial Board

commissioner, whoever you are, come clean and apologize.

You fixed a parking ticket — and dressed down a Cook County forest preserve cop for writing a valid citation.

Step up and own it.

When we read of this in the Sun-Times on Thursday, we experienced a sudden feeling of déjà vu. We flashed back to the days when special portable toilets were brought out whenever former Cook County Board President John Stroger hosted his annual political picnic in the Green Lakes forest preserve. We recalled a rich lore of forest preserve ghost payrolling, favoritism, mismanagement and incompetence.

Here’s to old times, you know?

In a report released this week, Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard wrote that an unnamed county commissioner reached out to a “high ranking” Forest Preserve Police official to void a $250 ticket issued last year to somebody who illegally parked in a space reserved for disabled individuals.

The ticket was issued to a “political associate” of the commissioner, who asked the cop and a trainee that classic question: “Do you know who I am?”

(A brief aside here: We think anybody ticketed by a cop who asks “Do you know who I am?” should be required to pay, by law, triple the usual fine.)

Later, the commissioner had the cop and trainee sent to the commissioner’s office to be “personally subjected to criticism.”

After the IG submitted his report, Cook County Forest Preserves Chief of Police Kelvin Pope resigned over his role in the matter.

But the anonymous commissioner and the commissioner’s associate are still out there, hiding, uninclined to face the music.

Alarmingly, this does not appear to be an isolated incident. One longtime forest preserve cop, the inspector general’s office said, reported that “political influence commonly results in the [forest preserve district] extending courtesies to officials in the conduct of law enforcement duties.”

Moreover, it’s fair to wonder whether a commissioner who fixes tickets might also be predisposed to fix contracts and hire useless relatives. This would not be unprecedented.

Richard Boykin, a former member of the County Board, which also acts as the board of the Forest Preserve District, put it well on Thursday: “That is part of the Cook County Way that people don’t want.”

The Cook County Board of Ethics should dig into this one.

It’s a relatively small matter, sure. But political corruption grows from the tiniest seeds.

Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard in his loop office on Tuesday October 16, 2012
Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard in his Loop office in 2012.
Sun-Times Media Sun-Times Media

Send letters to

Recent Headlines

Cook County’s property tax burden is shifting in the suburbs: Businesses could be hit hard, but homeowners might catch a break
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The other financial storm threatening to capsize Illinois' economy
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

County: Higher property taxes partly a hangover from foreclosure crisis
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Glencoe District 35 increases property tax levy by 4.45%
Sunday, December 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles Township Property Tax Appeal Workshops Offered In Skokie
Friday, December 06, 2019

Want to pay your property taxes early? Here's how.
Wednesday, December 04, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Column: Twitter exchange with Cook County assessor sums up outrage and exodus: Tax hikes are paying for debt, not services.
Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles taxing bodies, including schools, set to share $3.4 million surplus of TIF district funds
Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Pioneer Press

Unknown tale: Father George Clements’s role in Cook County court reform
Monday, December 02, 2019
Injustice Watch

State panel faces Dec. 31 deadline for property tax relief recommendations
Monday, December 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A drop in people, a $1 billion rise in property taxes
Monday, December 02, 2019
Daily Herald

In tents and under bridges, a new Cook County sheriff’s office program helps hard-to-reach drug users
Sunday, December 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

No pay-to-play in the Cook County assessor's office
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Dorothy Brown’s office debuts upgrade to criminal court computers to wide ridicule
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Chicago Tribune

What's happening to Chicago's safety-net hospitals?
Monday, November 25, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Health CEO ousted by board
Friday, November 22, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County OKs suburban infrastructure funding
Friday, November 22, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County Health CEO out at the end of 2019 after hospital system opts against renewing his contract
Friday, November 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board greenlights 2020 budget
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Former friary to ‘revert to its natural state’ under Cook County Forest Preserve District
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Daily Southtown

all news items

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