SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
County grand jury probing Dorothy Brown and her husband over land deal

Friday, May 9, 2014

* Tribune

Cook County prosecutors are investigating a land deal that netted Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown and her husband tens of thousands of dollars with no money down, the Tribune has learned.

Brown’s husband, Benton Cook III, confirmed that a grand jury is probing the deal, which saw him get a North Lawndale building for free from a longtime campaign contributor to Brown.

The court clerk quickly became a co-owner, and her company sold the parcel for $100,000 to a Frankfort real estate developer who’d long had his eye on it. The developer said Thursday that he testified before a grand jury earlier this year about how he came to acquire the land.

The investigation of the land deal comes as State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office also is looking at money Cook received as part of a controversial state anti-violence program that Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn launched in fall 2010 as he was locked in a close election campaign. County prosecutors have issued subpoenas seeking documents related to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative and specifically requested information about the agency that hired Cook. […]

Musa Tadros, the owner of south suburban Frankfort-based Crown Commercial Real Estate and Development, told the Tribune that he testified before a grand jury in January or February about the land deal.

It’s becoming even more clear that Alvarez’s probe of Gov. Quinn’s anti-violence initiative is a lot more about Brown than it is about Quinn - at least, for now.

* Meanwhile, from the Sun-Times

Not long after taking over the budget committee of a state agency, Cook County Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown voted by proxy to channel $5 million to a West Side nonprofit to help continue funding Gov. Pat Quinn’s now-disbanded Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.

That vote by Brown came at the same time the nonprofit, Chicago Area Project, employed her husband, Benton Cook III, to oversee millions of dollars in Neighborhood Recovery Initiative programming. The organization subsidized his paycheck with state anti-violence grant money.

It’s not clear whether any of the grant funds Brown authorized for Chicago Area Project’s use in September 2012 trickled into Cook’s paycheck since the nonprofit says he left its payroll in October of that year.

As I told subscribers earlier this week, that decision about CAP’s funding came directly from Quinn’s office. The vote was most likely a mere formality, and it doesn’t look like Brown’s husband got much, if any, benefit from it.

* But that didn’t stop the governor’s office from once again throwing Brown under the bus

“If that’s the case, it’s unacceptable,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said of her vote. “Potential and actual conflicts of interest should always be disclosed by public officials and their designees. They should recuse themselves from decision-making on any matter involving a member of their family.

“The governor’s office has asked the authority’s chairman to look into this matter and act appropriately to address any conflict-of-interest issues,” Anderson said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


26 Comments
  1. - Walker - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 9:25 am:

    As I thought, the Quinn-related piece in the focus on Brown, is miniscule.

    A lot of strange real estate deals surround families of politicians at all levels. Very popular among high officials on the GOP side as well, historically. A clever way to enrich, behind legal fogs.


  2. - Jose Abreu's next homer - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 9:32 am:

    She’s gotta make up for the money she’s losing out on since she can’t make her employees pay her cash for her birthday any more. Real estate was the next best option.


  3. - wordslinger - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    Real estate scams have long been a staple of corrupt politicians, everywhere.

    Buy at a ridiculously low price from one supporter, sell some time later to another supporter at a miraculously high price.


  4. - Da Moat - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    Like Obama/Rezco?


  5. - Walker - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    ===Buy at a ridiculously low price from one supporter, sell some time later to another supporter at a miraculously high price.===

    Works with politicians’ ties to hedge funders as well. You can always claim the pol was especially genius in investment choices.

    Where there’s a will, and lack of character, there is always a way.


  6. - Jim'e' - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    Gosh, I wish she would spend as much time on bringing her office into the 21st century than trying to make a buck on the side. No where else are court records kept on paper; now that criminal.


  7. - wordslinger - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    –Like Obama/Rezco?–

    Someone heard Pavlov’s bell.

    Yeah, it’s just like that, except for the part where Obama didn’t buy from Rezko and he hasn’t sold. Except for those two minor points, exactly the same.


  8. - VanillaMan - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    When you get dirty money, it has to be laundered.


  9. - downtownie brownie - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    Show me the jeans day money! Never found the $ and they let her walk. Apparently we only care when the damage is in the millions and its too late to recover.Instead were left with a courthouse full of her cronies a more violent city and hardworking taxpayer dollars squandered. She needs to go,quickly…


  10. - Upon Further Review - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    If nothing else, Quinn’s trouble program is shedding some light on the corrupt culture that has been in place since Dorothy Brown took over in the Circuit Court Clerk’s office. It is one of the most inefficient offices in Cook County government and it is loaded with employees who seem to idle most of the time.


  11. - Because I said so... - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    I really hope a fairly strong candidate runs against her.


  12. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    I suspect no one involved at all with the Cook County legal system will shed a tear if she goes down. Unremarkable, ineffective tenure as court clerk. Ask any lawyer how antiquated the clerk’s office and related systems are. They still don’t have electronic case file access and electronic filing across the board while the Feds have had it for many years.

    I was in court on Wednesday. While in federal court, orders at all hearings are issued by the court electronically and e-mailed to you, in Cook County circuit court they are still done the old-fashioned way — drafted by the lawyers, not the judge or their staff, and handwritten USING CARBON PAPER to make copies. Yes, one of the last bastions of carbon paper.


  13. - dupage dan - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Hey, RB, the carbon paper lobby is stronger than you think. Be careful, be very, very careful


  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    Quinn would “like” (hate how callous that sounds, I feel ‘icky’) to be able to put a great deal of the taint to Dorothy Brown if he can. They are pushing it out there, that is beyond obvious.

    If its not “over” for Dorothy Brown, someone needs to tell her it’s more of the beginning of the end than anything else positive.

    This could very well lead to her own name on a Circuit Court docket, produced by an “acting clerk”.

    I hate speculation on criminal investigations, say it often, but Grand Juries don’t meet to discuss table cloths.


  15. - Da Moat - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    That would be “Clerk” Brown. Employees have been reprimanded.


  16. - northshorecynic - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    the cover up is always worse than the crime.

    this is deja vu all over again and again and again.

    It will save Rauner millions of dollars in campaign expense.


  17. - Da Moat - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Diane Shapiro was a good candidate.


  18. - Da Moat - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    I do not recall Clerk Brown wearing jeans herself on jeans day.


  19. - Knome Sane - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Should the distinguished Clerk of the Circuit Court find herself on the wrong side of steel bars, will she require her new neighbors to call her “The Honorable” Inmate Number 877954789?


  20. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    If the comments on the blog are any reflection, looks like I might have been wrong, and Quinn’s effort to blame the $55 million NRI debacle on Brown will succeed, although Brown and her husband received roughly one-quarter of one percent of that money.

    The Sun-Times editorial board is apparently pretty isolated in its view that the buck stops at the Governor’s office for oversight of The governor’s initiatives.

    Kudos, Team Quinn. I misunderestimated you, but I can admit when I am wrong.


  21. - Anyone Remember - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    It’s not just Illinois & politicians & land sales.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/missouri-history-museum-s-purchase-of-ex-mayor-s-st/article_4e4a5031-79e0-5f0e-9ca8-2913f91cb956.html


  22. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    does Tony Peraica want to run again county-wide?


  23. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    Also, most politicians or politicians’ spouses with half a brain don’t fall for the old “Here, have a free building!” trick. Takes a special sort of dopeyness and hubris to end up in that kind of position.


  24. - Da Moat - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    Peracia. Yes, the answer.


  25. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    One thing does confuse me: what exactly is the crime that Brown is accused of? Violating the Gift Ban Act?


  26. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, May 9, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    OH boy–and “aWAAAAAAAAY we GOOOOOO,” as the famous Jackie Gleason used to blurt out!!

    Well, we’ll see what comes of this in due time, but Dorothy ‘n Hubby surely can’t be all that excited about THIS year’s Mother’s Day Greeting–News of the Grand Jury convening–let alone what it could lead to…! And maybe now, one, inevitable result is that Cook County’ll be lookin’ for a New Clerk of its’ Court System sometime in the not too distant future…?

    One thing it does as well is to make Gov. Quinn appear less culpable, as the inquiry may be honing in now, specifically, on some of the MAIN Culprits who TRUly helped to malign the good faith intent of the Anti-Violence program way back in 2010…!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed until Monday
* TrackBill update
* Caption contest!
* It's worse than we thought
* Question of the day
* Long-term debt is not short-term debt
* Today's quotable
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * LG G3 oversharpening fix arrives with a few kernel tweaks
        * LG G Flex 2 could be just over a month away
        * Lumia Instagramer of the Month: Dishant Kalthiya
        * Giant 12.2-inch iPad schematic, hardware details leak
        * Black Friday deals: Save 10 percent on everything when you use code HAPPYBF10
        * Cyanogen blindsides OnePlus with side deal: no CM support for One in India
        * Mophie Powerstation Plus Review: Integrated Cable Is Both Blessing And Curse

        * Sony Pictures Investigates North Korea Link In Hack Attack
        * Fold a World-Record-Setting Paper Airplane In Under 10 Minutes
        * Ring Menu Adds a Shortcut To Your Most Used Stuff Anywhere
        * Last Call: The Best Remaining Black Friday Deals
        * Schedule a Toy Purge Before the Holidays and Birthdays
        * Save $50 on the New Nexus 9, Plus a Free $50 Google Play Credit
        * Stop Trash Talking Others to Improve Your Own Work

        * Speedy Campana invited to White Sox camp
        * White Sox can go short or long with free agent starter
        * Catching up with Tadahito Iguchi
        * White Sox ACE program helps send players to college
        * Additional 2005 fan-favorite players added to '15 SoxFest
        * White Sox introduce Adam LaRoche and their plans for him
        * White Sox plan for contention a work in progress

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * States React to Obama Immigration Order..


        * Driver hurt after car speeds into Lake Michigan
        * Baby born in stairwell in Chicago suburb
        * Video gambling's spread raising cash, eyebrows
        * Chicago council to vote on minimum wage
        * Idaho rockslide halts passenger, freight trains
        * Illinois man faces trial for stomping puppy
        * Ferguson protests continue in downtown Chicago
        * Protesters demonstrate outside Chicago Walmart
        * Illinois Route 66 gets electric charging stations
        * Plan would use medical marijuana to fund education

        * Attorney wants use medical marijuana earnings to fund education
        * Illinois attorney general files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Quinn grants clemency to 126 ahead of holiday
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization
        * State begins accepting fracking applications
        * Debt rating agencies weigh in on state pension ruling
        * Lisa Madigan to ask Illinois Supreme Court to consider pensions
        * Rauner tackles transition agenda
        * Attorney general warns of immigration scams
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court next

        * Chicago, Evanston parking garages hit by data breach
        * Emanuel to prevent Springfield from limiting Chicago minimum wage hike
        * Emanuel calls special council meeting to hike minimum wage
        * Black Friday live: Holiday shopping in full gear
        * Most BP oil spill claims handled correctly, McGladrey says


        * South Side is best home for Obama museum
        * Asking in Ferguson: Ain't I a man?
        * A visit to the Last House on the Block
        * City Council to meet next week to vote on minimum wage
        * A Democrat admits his party really blew it
        * How Illinois can charge ahead on education
        * Jesse L. Miller, former alderman, community activist in North Lawndale, dies at 72
        * ||| Jack Higgins’ perspective
        * Quinn grants pardons to 126, including one of Dixmoor Five
        * Educators up in arms over Rauner's question on budget cuts


        * Start of shopping 'marathon' looks promising, retailers say
        * Boy, 16, killed in double shooting on Southwest Side
        * Officials: Man drives SUV in reverse from LSD into Lake Michigan
        * Firefighters respond to fire at apartments, baby born in stairwell
        * Two men charged in Aurora shooting
        * Homer Glen bans 'vicious' dogs
        * Police and paramedics responding to crash on Lake Shore Drive
        * Deputy disciplined for reportedly pulling over bus to give son lunch
        * Park District vehicle slides off bike path into Lake Michigan near Oak Street
        * Cubs' Pedro Strop "doing fine" after car crash


        * Listen to State Week - November 28, 2014
        * CPS tests causing more anxiety in teacher evaluations
        * LLCC Offers Variety Of Community Education Classes
        * Another Year Of "Messiah" For Springfield Choral Society
        * New Exhibit On Lincoln's "Undying Words"
        * Locals Organize For Vigil In Response To Ferguson
        * Illinois Hunters Kill 52,000 Deer Over The Weekend
        * Pension Ruling "Credit Negative," But No Ratings Change
        * Tim Landis: Foreclosure Sales, CIPS Icehouse and Heritage River Trail
        * Part Timers & Manufacturing in Illinois Feeling a Slow Economic Recovery


        * Attorney wants use medical marijuana earnings to fund education
        * Michael Carrigan: Illinois can’t afford another year without a raise
        * Esther Cepeda: How to really enjoy the holidays
        * E.J. Dionne: Thank a politician today
        * Our Opinion: Help combat hunger this holiday season
        * Eugene Robinson: On replacement, caution urged
        * George Will: Thanks, or something
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 27, 2014
        * Illinois attorney general files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Quinn grants clemency to 126 ahead of holiday


        * SportsTalk 11-28-14
        * Families come together for holiday shopping
        * Harristown fire kills 1
        * HS Football: Maroa-Forsyth, IHSA Class 2A Playoffs
        * King's Harvest needs toys for children's party
        * King's Harvest opens doors to protect homeless from the cold
        * Illini Notebook 11-28-14
        * Rollover on I-55 sends 4 people to area hospitals
        * Wally’s mustache? Always in style, at least in his mind
        * Anglicans win again in court


        * Houdini's grave needs work
        * Boys buried in snow heard rescuers
        * Football: Scouting Stevenson vs. Homewood-Flossmoor
        * Growers grateful for higher Christmas tree prices
        * Stevenson tops St. Charles East, wins at Schaumburg

        * PRESS RELEASE: Reps. Deutch and Roskam Int...
        * Veteran guest speaker shares brain injury ...
        * Images: Tammy Duckworth's 2006 6th Congres...
        * US House race, Illinois 6th District: Pete...
        * Peter Roskam Defeats Michael Mason In Illi...
        * John Shimkus Defeats Eric Thorsland In Ill...
        * Davis defeats Callis in race for Congress;...
        * Congressman John Shimkus wins 15th Distric...
        * Voters Offered Little Choice on Foreign Po...
        * Shimkus continues push for DOTCOM Act - Th...

        * Durbin to chair hearing on civil rights, F......

        * Just say no to new Iran sanctions...

        * The Plot to Burn New York City
        * The Sinking of the Greyhound
        * Bruce still hasn’t gotten it right. Pardon who?
        * Vilson beats Cuomo.
        * Chicagoetry: Love In Vain In A Station Of The Metro
        * Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day
        * The Beachwood Radio Hour #33: Save The Spire, Ditch DePaul, Nuke The Luke
        * The College Football Report: Eggs, Hooks, Frogs & Stingers
        * Be like Martin Luther King.
        * We are decorated for the season.


        * Governor Quinn Announces Investment to Help Regional Food Banks Better Serve Those in Need - Governor’s Investment Will Ensure Lower Cost and Higher Efficiency for Services Reaching Nearly 2 Million Illinois Residents
        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Abner Mikva Receiving Nation’s Highest Civilian Honor
        * Department of Insurance Announces Multi-State Settlement with Symetra Life Insurance and Symetra National Life Insurance Company - Illinois will share part of a $1.2 million penalty against Symetra Life regarding Life Insurance policies
        * Avoid Foodborne Illness This Holiday Season




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller