image
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
More trouble for Dorothy Brown’s husband in state grant probe

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

* Sun-Times

Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown’s husband has been hit with a federal subpoena asking him to appear before a grand jury as part of an investigation into a state anti-violence program.

A source with knowledge of the investigation told the Chicago Sun-Times that the subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Springfield is directed at Benton Cook III.

It’s a sign that federal authorities, who already have requested documents from two state agencies regarding Gov. Pat Quinn’s troubled Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, are taking a closer look at Cook’s role in receiving grant money from the program. […]

Cook was paid more than $146,000 in salary and fringe benefits from Neighborhood Recovery Initiative grant funds, accounting for 7 percent of the total $2.1 state allotment to combat violence in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. Cook oversaw several subcontractors, including his own non-profit, which took in more than $3,300 in anti-violence grant money. The Sun-Times has previously reported that Cook is a felon, raising questions over how he qualified to oversee money in the program.

* Cook has hired Ed Genson as his attorney. Genson is a legendary criminal defense attorney and recently defended his client to the Sun-Times

An attorney hired by Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown’s husband Benton Cook III, said his client has unfairly become the “fall guy” for a troubled state anti-violence program that’s been the subject of a series of investigations.

“If there were things that went wrong with regards to that program, neither he nor she had involvement,” Genson told Early & Often, speaking on behalf of Brown and her husband. “He was just a salaried worker who did his job.” […]

“He’s really the fall guy for this because of his relationship” to Brown, Genson said.

* Meanwhile, this is from the website of Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown’s husband Benton Cook

Dr. Cook has conducted anxiety reduction and stress management groups at multiple community venues. He has taught in the Psychology and Management Departments and is an experienced meeting facilitator and focus-group leader. He has 25 years of management and administrative experience.

Dr. Cook earned his Doctor of Psychology and Masters Degree. He’s completed internships in clinical and counseling psychology. His Master’s focused on Management and Organizational Behavior. His psychology training and internship institutions are accredited by the American Psychological Association.

* So the Tribune asked the state whether Cook was licensed to practice psychology. He wasn’t and the state sent him a notice to appear before an administrative law judge on June 16. Oops

The civil complaint by state regulators cites Cook’s online description. Those claims “constitute the unlicensed practice of a clinical psychologist,” which carries a fine of up to $10,000 per violation, the complaint states. The aim is to get Cook to stop representing himself as a clinical psychologist, said Susan Hofer, spokeswoman for the regulatory department.

* More

The Chicago Area Project recently hired Rick Jasculca, a high-profile communications consultant, to answer questions about the state grant. In an email on behalf of the group’s executive director, David Whittaker, Jasculca said Cook told officials that he was married to Brown before they hired him and they “did not find that relevant.”

Jasculca wrote that Cook was hired because of his “seemingly relevant academic achievement, breadth of experience and deep involvement in the community.”

“Cook’s work and credentials were reviewed, and he was interviewed by CAP management,” Jasculca added. “In hindsight, it is clear that we should have used a more robust process to vet his credentials and background.”

* In other news

A prosecutor who helped convict Canadian media mogul Conrad Black and other high-profile figures is the new head of the criminal division at Chicago’s U.S. attorney’s office.

The office announced Julie B. Porter’s appointment Tuesday.

The announcement comes as the new U.S. attorney for northern Illinois, Zachary Fardon, makes various structural changes. He has faced pressure to find more ways his office can help stem street-level violence in Chicago.

Ed Genson defended Conrad Black, by the way. And Porter helped prosecute Bill Cellini.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


15 Comments
  1. - Weltschmerz - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    How’d Ed work out for Conrad? He’s usually good for a reduction in sentence after the feds have chalked up another one.


  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    Cook appears to be a long-time and prolific con man.

    He’s got a lot of heat from two grand juries, but he can’t wear the jacket for the all the deficiencies outlined in the auditor general’s report.


  3. - Walker - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    He’s clearly the first fall guy in the greater scheme of things, but that doesn’t mean he’s free and clear.


  4. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Even money that Benton Cook is unknown to any European universities? Someday, he will be offered a post at Chicago State.


  5. - MrJM - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    I worry that flimflam credentials like Benton Cooks’ will cast undue doubt on legitimate degrees like my Doctor of Space and Time certificate.

    – MrJM


  6. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    It’s going to take a whole lot of Blue Jeans Fund “contributions” for Dot to pay Ed’s bill!


  7. - Responsa - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    ==On his website, Cook does not detail his academic credentials or the specific places he has practiced psychology, though he does list the institutions where his stepdaughter received her degrees. On a resume Cook submitted to the Chicago Area Project when it hired him for the state grant program, Cook lists “doctorial studies in clinical psychology” at Jacksonville Theological Seminary in Florida and a master’s of humanities in psychological counseling and a bachelor’s degree in religion and biblical studies from Aspen Theological Seminary in Aurora, Colo.

    Neither establishment is on a current list of institutions accredited by the American Psychological Association, the nation’s largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology. Officials at both educational institutions could not be reached Tuesday.==
    Oof.


  8. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Noticed his bio and Clerk Brown’s online bio have their daughter’s name and educational credentials on them. Anyone else find that really weird? What does that have to do with anything?


  9. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    Domino 1. Dr. Cook.


  10. - dupage dan - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    It appears this fraud was hiding in plain sight. How’d he stay under the radar for so long? Who’s his clout, Clerk Brown? Really? On the other hand, should I be surprised?


  11. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    Unless a job description has academic requirements, I don’t think few if any employers verify degrees.

    Jasculca has his work cut out for him, but at least there is a seasoned hand at the till.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    Mr. Cook is the face and the persona of the Auditor General’s report, but in no way is Mr. Cook the entire story, or a final stop on the “Bus Tour “.

    If anything, Mr. Cook needs to be, for his own good(?), the “Ralph Cramdem” of the bus(?)


  13. - Sue - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    Targets of USA grand jury subpoenas either take the fifth or cut a deal before making an appearance- if in fact Cook is a target there is no way he gives testimony without spilling the beans subject to a proffer agreement


  14. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    ===Jasculca has his work cut out for him, but at least there is a seasoned hand at the till.====

    This hire is the first smart move in the whole mess. Clearly, he’s been hired to play “defense”. There will be no touchdowns or ball spiking here.


  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 14, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    @A guy -

    Last week I recommended here that they hire outside counsel — Dennis Culloton was the first to come to mind — but Rick seems to be on message.

    I do find it ironic…I think the story has been featured prominently on the Sun-Times political site sponsored by Jasculca-Terman.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Cardinal Francis George services announced
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Caption contest!
* Question of the day
* Hold off a bit, please
* The mental health cost shift
* Credit Unions – “People Helping People” and their Communities
* Redefining Darin
* *** UPDATED x1 - Rauner response *** Madigan to Rauner: Disclose how you reached your budget decisions
* Today's must-read
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* *** UPDATED x1 *** This morning's "right to work" tally
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* 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

          
        * Our 5 favourite new Windows Phone apps of the week
        * The Year Of Mobile Payments
        * Are swappable battery and memory deal breakers?
        * Apple Watch, LG G4, Galaxy S6 bending comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap
        * What The Apple Watch Could Be
        * With Hykoo, You Can Combine Video And Text To Create 12-Second Short Films
        * Square Enix’s Masters of the Masks: different yet typical

        * WhatsApp Grows To 800 Million Active Monthly Users
        * FBI Detains Security Researcher Who Joked About Hacking His Flight
        * BMW’s Mini Demos Augmented Reality Glasses for Drivers
        * Five Best Ebook Readers
        * Code Documentary Maker: ‘This is a Rosie the Riveter Moment’
        * Use Leftover Ramen Seasoning in Eggs for a Flavorful, Fluffy Omelette
        * Re/code on Air: Etsy Goes Public and Google Makes Mobile Changes

        * Abreu's slam highlights seven-run frame to lift White Sox
        * 'Hybrid' Sale battles early, cruises with big lead
        * Largest offensive output displays White Sox potential
        * Abreu's slam highlights seven-run frame to lift White Sox
        * Abreu's slam highlights seven-run frame to lift White Sox
        * White Sox 12, Tigers 3: Offense unloads in support of Chris Sale
        * White Sox send Quintana to hill in series finale vs. Tigers

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


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

        Archives
        April 2015
        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


        * Rauner Trying To Broker Mega-Deal In Illinois L.....
        * State education board member quits over superin.....
        * Inside Illinois' crumbling governor mansion..
        * Illinois board of education member resigns over.....
        * The Latest: Spain calls on EU to take action on.....
        * Service held to mark 20 years since Oklahoma Ci.....
        * Gov. Rauner Attempts to Broker Mega-Deal in Sta.....
        * 5 essential stories, week of April 12..
        * Video: Islamic State kills Ethiopian Christians.....
        * Wartime climate in Saudi puts calls for reform .....


        * Hopes dim for school funding formula overhaul's passage
        * State education board member quits over superintendent hire
        * 2 hospitals battle over $253 million project
        * Hopes dim for school funding formula overhaul's passage
        * Mourners remember Fairdale tornado victim
        * Chicago team heading to robotics world championships
        * Section of Mississippi River reopened after diesel fuel leak
        * Man who fled after fatal hit-and-run extradited to Chicago
        * Man who fled after fatal hit-and-run extradited to Chicago
        * N. Illinois judge says Outlaws cannot reclaim vests, patches

        * Statehouse Insider: We're getting to the bottom of this
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Bruce Rauner is no Jim Thompson on labor issue
        * Madigan forms committee to review Rauner budget activities
        * Bill expanding in-car blood-alcohol devices passes House
        * Bobcat hunting bill passes House by slim margin
        * Madigan forms committee to review Rauner budget actitivities
        * State restores part of funding cut from schools
        * Bill banning powdered alcohol cruises through Senate
        * Official state pie? Illinois House approves the pumpkin variety
        * Springfield branch of The Autism Program lays off five workers

        * Teacher, what's white-collar crime?
        * How could Chicago Public Schools be so dumb?
        * Now an even easier way to get mac 'n' cheese delivered to your home
        * OCC owners want dibs on half the pie
        * Bruce Rauner is no info junkie, and it shows


          * Police: Murder, robbery charges filed in restaurant stabbing
          * Rain on Sunday and relatively cool week ahead
          * 1 killed, 4 wounded in city shootings
          * 5 hospitalized after multiple-car crash in Englewood
          * Woman, young son killed in Bolingbrook crash
          * Woman arriving from Jordan arrested at O'Hare in 2009 Kansas murder
          * Cardinal George's legacy one of conviction, humility, Chicago Catholics say
          * Prosecutors: Teen fatally shot man in 'drug deal gone bad'
          * Prosecutors: Armed guard sexually assaulted another woman
          * Woman starved 2 puppies, forced other dogs to fight: Prosecutors


          * Cardinal Francis George helped 'make his people holy'
          * Remembering Chicago's Cardinal Francis George
          * George helped 'make his people holy'
          * Schock donor sues ex-US congressman seeking reimbursement
          * Is that the Loch Michigan Monster lurking off Fullerton Beach?
          * Chicago's retired Cardinal Francis George dies at 78
          * Canine flu outbreak sickens hundreds of dogs in Midwest
          * Rauner's first 100 days: The politics of negotiating a budget
          * 'Right to Try' measure passes Illinois House
          * Chicago council approves $5M settlement in police shooting


          * Statehouse Insider: We're getting to the bottom of this
          * Statehouse Insider: We're getting to the bottom of this
          * Our Opinion: Stick up for taxpayers, charge Schock for special election
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Bruce Rauner is no Jim Thompson on labor issue
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Bruce Rauner is no Jim Thompson on labor issue
          * Madigan forms committee to review Rauner budget activities
          * Heather Eagleton: Illinois should regulate step therapy treatments
          * Bill expanding in-car blood-alcohol devices passes House
          * Bobcat hunting bill passes House by slim margin
          * Our Opinion: Springfield's flood warning signs an investment in safety


          * 2015 Beaux Arts Ball senior maids
          * LIVE: 2015 Ebertfest Day 5
          * LIVE! at Illinois Field (Indiana: Game 3)
          * Woodford County to look at tax levy question
          * Civil War Timeline: April 1865 – A Chronology
          * Divorces 4/19/15
          * Daily Digest 4/19/15
          * Crime blotter 4/20/15
          * New location allows expanded cancer care
          * Voices: Why 'Life Itself' didn't win the Oscar


          * Brad Richards' favorite playoff moment
          * Mourners gather for Fairdale tornado victim
          * Czech Republic beats France 3-1 in Fed Cup semis
          * Almonds get roasted in debate over California water use
          * 'Furious 7' speeds ahead of the competition

          * 14th Congressional District: Randy Hultgre...
          * Bost 2016 Campaign Already at $407,000
          * Russia Impinges on Israeli "Right" to Bomb...
          * Lawmakers: Bill could increase federal fun...
          * Kirk gives national broadcast speech on Iran
          * READ IN: Trading Spaces Edition
          * Following a familiar path, Bost raises ove...
          * Kinzinger releases statement following dec...
          * Foster drops out, announces support for Du...
          * Poll: Bennet-Coffman race close -- Rubio l...

          * The Bigot Game...

          * The Senate’s Red Line: No Immediate Sancti......
          * Obama is prepared to give Iran anything an......
          * Sen. Kirk: Iran regime is the world’s bigg......

          * The Old Turnaround
          * Marco Rubio talks "radical Islam," 2nd Amendment at NRA Leadership Conference
          * Asked why Hillary should be President, college kids give exact same response
          * New Police Commanders In Both Uptown Districts
          * Gene Roddennberry's intro to "The Cage"
          * Church in North Caolina Vandalized by Gay Activists
          * Church in North Carolina Vandalized by Gay Activists
          * Waddle Over To The Milwaukee County Zoo To Celebrate World Penguin Day
          * Durbin: Hillary would be an "extraordinary" president
          * Foster: Rubio, just another token candidate


          * Illinoisans Receive Governor’s Volunteer Service Award - 6thAnnual Awards Ceremony to be Held on April 20thin Springfield
          * Get Smart About College Planning During Money Smart Week® - College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program offers tips to plan for--and afford--the cost of college
          * Motorcycle Season Revs Up, Riders Urged to “Gear Up-Ride Smart” - New Campaign Touts Staying Safe Through Proper Gear, Education
          * IDOT’s Operation Teen Safe Driving Program Announces 2014-15 Winning Schools - Innovative Program Helps Save Lives, Promotes Safe Driving Habits
          * State of Illinois Takes Action on Medical Cannabis Dispensary Applicants





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