SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
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        

  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.==

  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.

* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Zopp makes small cable TV buy during debate
* Exelon Just Received A $1.7 Billion Rate Increase Through The Market-Based Capacity Auction
* Question of the day
* Raoul: "Inflexible demands plus willful amnesia is no recipe for any negotiation"
* Violence spike blamed on budget cuts
* *** UPDATED - Home and doing better *** I'll be back later
* Gray hired by Trump
* MLB playoff open thread
* Once more, with feeling
* B3 fallout?
* Unclear on the concept
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

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

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Acer setting up for October 12 Windows 10 devices day
* 3D Touch Control Center concept reminds Apple of what it can do
* Google is getting more search volume from smartphones than PCs
* BATBAND: Sleek, ear-free headphones won’t hurt your ears, now on Kickstarter
* Moto X Force passes through Chinese regulators
* Still time to win: enter to take home this HTC One M9 while you can
* Master your super human skills, control powers in ‘Heroes Reborn: Enigma’

* Hahn feels White Sox fanbase's frustration
* Sox to rely on improvement of core in 2016
* One benefit of the White Sox' lefty-heavy rotation
* Foot issue to sideline White Sox prospect Hawkins
* After second base, it was no-go White Sox
* Scouting, player development key for White Sox
* Arbitration-eligible White Sox won't put dent in payroll


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
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


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Rauner names new chair of Illinois Historic Pre.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....

* Rauner names contributor to preservation agency
* Ex-governor says ex-convicts shouldn't be labeled felon
* Rockford University looking to finish raising $17.3 million
* Corruption arraignment Tuesday for ex-Chicago schools CEO
* Chinese students bring new business to Champaign-Urbana
* ISU president calls for end to budget turmoil in Springfield
* EXCHANGE: Many point with pride at World War II service
* NIU to rededicate plaque honoring fallen WWII veterans
* Chicago State names Alabama university official to top post
* Mural, crosswalk art project underway downtown Springfield

* Rauner names new chair of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency board
* Rail work to shut down Chicago-St. Louis Amtrak trains for two weeks
* More than 400 press passes issued for this year's Illinois State Fair
* Rail work to shut down Amtrak trains for two weeks
* Ex-governor Ryan says ex-convicts shouldn't be labeled felons
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb
* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Democrats: Illinois could go broke without budget
* Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in campaign fund

* Notre Dame gets $20 million for global investing institute
* The Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots approach to governing
* Cubs World Series tickets would be most expensive in history
* Union files lawsuit on Chicago Park District pension bill
* Paul Ryan said to weigh speaker bid under GOP pressure

* Patrick Kane spoils Islanders Brooklyn debut
* Jonathan Toews sets up Patrick Kane with ridiculous no-look pass
* Ryan says ex-cons shouldn’t have to wear ‘felon’ label
* Watch: New Blackhawk Artem Anisimov scores shorthanded goal
* Tearful Ald. Carrie Austin on health crisis that nearly killed her
* Emails: Ex-CPS CEO was outraged City Hall questioned no-bid deal
* Artemi Panarin’s personality, skill breaking down language barrier
* Parents blast CPS for cuts in special ed programs
* Mayor tells U.S. attorney general that Chicago cops are in “fetal” position
* Blackhawks’ success further motivates Nick Leddy

* Emanuel supports principal training amid CPS scandal fallout
* Elmhurst police ask for help identifying woman killed by Metra train
* Bomb threat at GSU cancels classes
* Man, 62, found dead outside on Far South Side
* Teen is charged in killing of longtime Chicago police civilian employee
* Ryan says 'felon' hurts convicts' chances of finding work
* Police charge father after incident that left infant son seriously injured
* Black bear that visited Indiana this summer returns to state
* Mother cleared of endangerment charges in death of infant daughter
* Assault weapons bans at stake in Highland Park case before Supreme Court

* Rauner names new chair of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency board
* Rail work to shut down Chicago-St. Louis Amtrak trains for two weeks
* More than 400 press passes issued for this year's Illinois State Fair
* Ex-governor Ryan says ex-convicts shouldn't be labeled felons
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb
* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Mike Lang: 'Racial Taboo' screening will advance local unity efforts
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Bernard Schoenburg: Supreme Court refuses to hear Illinois Policy Institute appeal over press access at Statehouse

* LIVE! IlliNOISE Night
* Rantoul man charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse
* Final Word: Cubit returns to Kinnick
* Tate: Big Ten QBs miss mark
* PODCAST: Sports Talk 10-09-15
* Wetter days ahead by mid-month across the Corn Belt
* High school football scoreboard, Oct. 9, 2015
* VIDEO PICK: UI 21, Iowa 14
* Urbana High School Homecoming 2015
* PODCAST: Illini Notebook with Brian Barnhart

* Rozner: Cards execute plan to perfection to take Game 1
* Boy Scouts closing Woodstock's Camp Lakota, two in Wisconsin
* Officials: Five people hospitalized after Long Grove crash
* Lackey, home runs too much for Chicago Cubs
* Priest who led Mundelein retreat, served in Des Plaines, Schaumburg, dead at 79

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Boulder Rep. Jared Polis introduces afford......
* Senator Durbin Calls on VA and Department ......

* Kirk supported money to Illinois waterways......

* Parents, Advocates Speak Out Against CPS Special Need Education Cuts
* Special education
* Marine Drive To Undergo Repaving
* Schakowsky Introduces Bill To Make Renewable Energy Tax Credit Permanent
* Byrd-Bennett Arraignment Scheduled For Tuesday
* Illinois' first lady appears in domestic violence PSA
* Roseburg Oregon protesters tell Obama: "Go Golf!"
* Positive Loitering Tonight, 7pm-8pm
* Islamic extremists cut off 12 year old Syrian boy's fingertips before public execution
* Rauner addresses LGBT Business Graduate Conference

* Board’s New Rules Will Reduce Risk of Tire Fires and Disease-Carrying Mosquitos
* Illinois Hosts Inaugural Interstate Medical Licensure Compact - Aims to increase health care access through multi-state physician licensure program
* IEMA Announces Elgin Community College Attains ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ Designation - Elgin one of five Illinois campuses to receive distinction
* New Mortgage Loan Interface Increases Efficiency, Compliance
* State Fire Marshal Ushers In Fire Prevention Week - “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep!”

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