image
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.


* Question of the day
* Editorial: "Don't fall for Exelon bailout"
* IDOT hiring monitor issues first report
* The Key to Lowering Workers’ Compensation Costs is Insurance Transparency and Oversight
* Under the bus he goes
* Learning the wrong lessons
* Rauner blasts "outrageous" lack of action
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* 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

          
        * Vaio smartphone certified in Japan as retail packaging debuts
        * Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer
        * Apple iPad Pro/Plus could take page from Surface Pro 3’s playbook, get full-sized USB 3.0
        * Gmail App Now Offers Reply And Archive From Notifications On iOS
        * Twitter testing out built-in browser in Android app
        * First look: Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac doesn't feel like an afterthought
        * FireChat's hashtags help festival-goers find the hottest spots at SXSW

        * Uber or Die: A Funny Video About the Teflon Company
        * Microsoft Releases Preview Build for Office for Mac 2016
        * Sprint Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update Released
        * IGZO Display Rumors Rehashed For 12.9-Inch iPad Pro
        * How Removing an Authorized User Affects Their Credit Score
        * Gmail for iOS Gets Reply and Archive Actions from Notification Center
        * Sure, Let’s Slap a Selfie Shutter Button on That Portable Bluetooth Speaker

        * First impressions from the White Sox's first spring training game
        * Konerko humbled by Lifetime Achievement Award
        * Anderson focused on becoming top-notch shortstop
        * Putnam preparing for season with new perspective
        * Quintana comfortable, efficient in White Sox rotation
        * Alexei's 3 RBIs spark White Sox in spring opener
        * Hahn's plan to reshape White Sox slow to boil

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


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

        Archives
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        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


        * As he seeks Wilson's runoff endorsement, Mayor .....
        * Democrats needle Rauner over staff salaries..
        * Learning the wrong lessons..
        * Children’s Group: Poverty Rates in Illinois Lik.....
        * Griffin: Rauner plan could cost suburbs 25% of .....
        * Sen. Stadelman Says Democrats Need to Take Lead.....
        * Rauner blasts “outrageous” lack of action..
        * Under the bus he goes..
        * Court monitor: IDOT should clean house on hirin.....
        * Normal City Council candidates address laborers..


        * Report: Illinois budget cuts would harm children in poverty
        * Couple offers $92M to Northwestern University medical school
        * $92M donation to go to Northwestern University med school
        * Senate panel passes ban on plastic beads polluting lakes
        * Park Ridge mayor dies at 57 after 'sudden illness'
        * At least 15 vehicles involved in wrecks on bridge
        * Lincoln carriage heading from South Bend to Washington, DC
        * Cornel West cancels speech at U of Illinois over Salaita
        * Illinois man gets 12 years for selling heroin
        * 1 killed in blaze at Rolling Meadows apartment building

        * Court monitor says IDOT should clean house on hiring rules
        * Senate President Cullerton: We're not stalling
        * Judge grants delay of medical marijuana permit in Kankakee
        * State's medical marijuana patients now number 1,600
        * Illinois hires firm to evaluate shuttered Eagle Creek Resort
        * Committee approves plan to plug some budget holes
        * Local men plead guilty to stealing millions from Illinois EPA
        * State superintendent warns of 'perfect storm' for school districts
        * Committee to consider plan for plugging budget holes
        * New state lawmaker Butler officially sworn in

        * Americans spent $58 billion to pamper, protect pets in 2014
        * A solar-powered lamp for everyone
        * How AbbVie beat out behemoth J&J to buy Pharmacyclics
        * An Open Table for groups debuts
        * Meet the gaffe warriors of the Democratic Party


          * Lawmaker: Expand state role on O'Hare noise
          * Mayor: 'Good Wife' wrong about Evanston politics
          * Man seriously wounded in shooting at Englewood neighborhood store
          * 2 questioned in attempted home invasion that left man dead
          * Northwestern's $92 million gift will go toward biomedical research
          * Skilling: More record cold, then maybe 55 by next week
          * Woman accused of Facebook chatting before crash that killed 3 kids
          * Ravinia Festival announces 2015 lineup
          * Nine of 10 sexual abuse claims dismissed in Milwaukee archdiocese bankruptcy
          * Shedd Aquarium welcomes new rescue dog


          * Lincoln Carriage Headed To DC
          * Bedrock 66 Live! Features Celtic And Psychedelic Rock
          * "Don't Get Used To This" Breezy Budget Hearing
          * Lawmaker Suggests Eliminating Tuition Waivers For University Employees' Children
          * Profitable Exelon Seeks Legislation To Save Unprofitable Nuclear Plants
          * Let's Talk Kids - "A Future President"
          * Sexting Laws Could Be Added to School Handbooks
          * McDonalds to phase out chicken raised with certain antibiotics
          * Illinois Hires Firm To Evaluate Shuttered Eagle Creek Resort
          * Combat Vets Recreate Lincoln's Hearse


          * Bernard Schoenburg: Butler will listen to many before taking tough votes
          * Rep. Mark Batinick: Illinois can find savings in workers' comp reforms
          * George Will: Stopping the IRS
          * Eugene Robinson: Boehner's sorry spectacle
          * Court monitor says IDOT should clean house on hiring rules
          * Senate President Cullerton: We're not stalling
          * Judge grants delay of medical marijuana permit in Kankakee
          * State's medical marijuana patients now number 1,600
          * Illinois hires firm to evaluate shuttered Eagle Creek Resort
          * Our Opinion: Conquering stress, burnout important for all


          * Hardin County Sectional postponed
          * Lindenwood student faces sex charges involving two fellow students
          * Park board will take formal vote on Dodds next week
          * #TBT: Women make 2008 Big Ten final
          * Weather closures and cancellations for March 5
          * Firefighters honor Hoffman on anniversary of his death
          * Coleman-Lands selected for Jordan game
          * Chicago's mid-century neon signs make preservation list
          * Shedd Aquarium welcomes new rescue dog
          * Belleville targets roadwork projects for 2015


          * Gire: Film society screens 'Two Days'
          * Images: Retro Gallery, 1965 Ice Storm
          * Dawn Patrol: Rolling Meadows fire kills 1; stabbing victim testifies
          * Peyton Manning back for 18th season, signs contract
          * AP source: Bills safety Searcy to test free agency

          * Roskam, House Benghazi panel rip Hillary C...
          * GEORGE WILL: Stopping the IRS from doing W...
          * Will: Stopping the IRS - AberdeenNews.com
          * New King Should Advocate Human Rights, Ref...
          * IRS continues to act in pattern of corrupt...
          * Roskam gives Netanyahu painting before con...
          * Opinion: U.S. Congress should be guided by...
          * George Will: Lawless IRS still stonewallin...
          * Reps. Hultgren, Roskam buck Boehner in DHS...
          * Israeli prime minister reminds Congress of...

          * Will: Rein In The IRS...
          * Congressional Democrats Introduce Bills to......
          * Stopping the IRS...
          * IRS Pattern of Corruption Continues...
          * Will: Stopping the IRS...

          * McConnell fast-tracks bill to slow approva......
          * Netanyahu’s speech had no real news — just......

          * Repairs On The Way For Clarendon Park Fieldhouse, More To Come
          * After Concealed Carry: ‘Constitutional Carry’ With No Permits Needed
          * WLS dumps more conservative talk show hosts - including Rush Limbaugh
          * Morning Minute: U.S. pending home sales hit 18-month high
          * Is SEIU’s President Tom Balanoff going to be bullied by Christine Boardman?
          * Morning Minute: Federal Reserve finds improving economic growth in early 2015
          * Rahm’s new TV ad. “You’re going to respect me!”
          * Chicago Rating Downgrade Triggers Swaps Terms, Outlook Remains Negative
          * TASC President Appointed to Governor Rauner’s Criminal Justice Reform Commission
          * Congressional bill offers asylum for homeschoolers


          * IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather - Tornadoes, floods and severe storms can happen any time of year
          * IDHS helps more than 5,000 individuals with disabilities find jobs - Program offers necessary tools to earn a living wage and become more independent
          * 24th Anniversary Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony
          * Illinois Department of Human Rights Announces 2015 Spring Training Schedule
          * Snow and Freezing Rain to Impact Travel in Illinois - IDOT Crews Prepared to Battle Winter Weather this Weekend




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