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Feds allege $10K could buy a job at Dorothy Brown’s office

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018


New revelations today in the bribery cases involving Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown.

A court filing in a pending case against one of Brown’s former aides contains details such as one employee having told investigators that the “going rate” to a buy a job in Brown`s office was $10,000, to be paid to her personal bagman.

Another said in an FBI interview that it was well known that giving gifts to Brown could earn workers a promotion.

* Sun-Times

A “bagman” allegedly collected money for the clerk. And her employees generally had the impression that “financial benefits to the clerk could result in securing promotions,” according to documents filed by federal prosecutors.

The allegations revealed in the newly filed documents may date back at least to 2015. But they also indicate the feds are still conducting “an ongoing and active criminal investigation” which has involved allegations of lies told to a grand jury, bribery, wire fraud and extortion.

“We deny the allegations wholeheartedly,” Vadim Glozman, one of Brown’s attorneys, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Ms. Brown has engaged in absolutely no wrongdoing in her time in office.

Brown has not been charged with a crime. And she has survived politically in spite of the years-long investigation of her office. The new records are related to the case against Beena Patel, a one-time top administrator with Brown who allegedly lied to a grand jury about office politicking.

* Tribune

Another [employee] said in an FBI interview it was well known that showering gifts on Brown could earn you a promotion, citing a trip Brown took to India that was partially paid for by relatives of one of her top employees.

Financial records appeared to back up the claims, including transactions showing the alleged bagman — who is also a clerk’s office employee — paid $40,000 directly to Brown and a company she controlled. The clerk later deposited $30,000 of those funds into her campaign war chest. […]

Another employee, Sivasubramani Rajaram, was convicted in 2016 of falsely testifying to the grand jury that he had not talked with Brown after his 2014 hiring. Prosecutors alleged that to secure the job, Rajaram had paid a $15,000 bribe to Brown disguised as a loan to Goat Masters Corp., a goat meat supply company that Brown and her husband had recently founded. Rajaram was sentenced last year to probation.

In their 16-page response Tuesday, prosecutors wrote that they presented plenty of evidence to justify the search warrants, including interviews with current and former employees as well as records showing loans and other financial dealings between Brown and people who worked for her, including Patel and Rajaram.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Colin O'Scopy - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    The “Honorable” Dorothy Brown. Heh.

  2. - Shemp - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    Man, I’ve been doing it wrong!

  3. - Ron - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:08 pm:

    Already voted for Meister.

  4. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    Ron, that office isn’t on the ballot this time.

  5. - Old Time R - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    When investigations take this long chances are people not only are cooperating but others might be wired up. That County Building might be in for a long long year

  6. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    There’s a reason the Chicago political machine didn’t like bright candidates. They did as they were told, and had no alternative. Dorothy Brown seemed to try a way around that. This is an embarrassment.

  7. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    I’ve been perplexed for a long time now as to why there haven’t been mucho federales indictments in regards to the Brown operation.

    I know the feds can take their time, but it sure has looked like low-hanging fruit for many years.

  8. - TKMH - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:13 pm:

    Do they have Jeans Day in prison?

  9. - City Zen - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:14 pm:

    ==Goat Masters Corporation==

    Who does Dorothy Brown think she’s kidding?

  10. - Nacho - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:18 pm:

    Even as someone being used to having no good choice on the ballot, Dorothy Brown vs. Diane Shapiro sure was something.

  11. - Just Me - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    I’ve been looking through the statutes on removal of a Court Clerk but can’t find it. Anyone else know where it is?

  12. - Billy Beane - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:22 pm:

    People, we ain’t selling days where you can wear blue jeans to work here.

  13. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:22 pm:

    I have many lawyer friends who would rather pull out their eyelashes than interface with employees of the Cook County Circuit Court…ya think?

  14. - Responsa - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    Even in a county well known for its undercurrent of business as usual politics Dorothy Brown has stood out as one of the most revolting and blatantly corrupt office holders in recent memory. She and others who use their office and influence for personal enrichment need to be ferreted out, charged and publicly shamed. Go Feds.

  15. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    Was she a Progressive candidate?

  16. - Sue - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:37 pm:

    Disgraceful she is still in office

  17. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    As we say in Chicago, “da worst of da worst”…

  18. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:41 pm:

    My first thought was that inflation has really taken a toll on pay to play if that is the price of a plain old job now. Forty years ago it was alleged that $20K could get you a Directorship at a major State agency and $10K for a minor agency. And a few fundraiser tickets seemed to help with a career.

    My second thought is that I’m surprised about how blatant and old school the alleged methods were.

    Appears to be one more pol that wasn’t smart enough to change with the times.

  19. - JB13 - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    Anyone else notice how hard it is to remove incompetent and corrupt people from office in this state? Wish we could identify the problem. But it’s a mystery.

  20. - jim - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    Cook County Democratic politics at its best/worst
    really, is anyone surprised?

  21. - m - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:52 pm:

    This is one of those cases that makes the argument for the supporters of term limits.

  22. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:52 pm:

    ===I’m surprised about how blatant and old school the alleged methods were.===

    My thoughts as well. I often wonder about blatantly corrupt people like Dorothy Brown and Blago. Do they really think they won’t get caught? Or do they know they will but decide to enjoy the ride as long as possible?

  23. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    –My second thought is that I’m surprised about how blatant and old school the alleged methods were.–

    Paul Powell didn’t end up with $800K in cash in his hotel room by being a shrinking violet (his flower fund was quite big, actually).

  24. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    == Paul Powell … ==

    Different times …

  25. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 2:58 pm:

    pardon, 2:53 was me.

    Paul Powell is certainly on the Illinois Mt. Rushmore of blatant corruption, but Len Small is right there next to him.

    That dude had already beaten one indictment for stealing a million bucks in state funds (eight jurors got state jobs) before he started selling pardons to gangsters — hundreds of them.

  26. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 3:10 pm:

    Why hasn’t she been indicted yet?

  27. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 3:10 pm:

    Americans do not realize that this corrupt behavior is normal in much of the world. When I worked in Saudi we knew our workers were bribing labor brokers to get jobs. My predecessor turned down hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes just to steer our business to certain companies.

    I had one broker assure me that “everything is approved but nobody will sign anything because it violates the labor laws”. We did not work with him.

  28. - Sue - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 3:30 pm:

    Love to know why the USA hasn’t indicted Brown yet if it has this kind of evidence

  29. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    Didn’t see any reference, is she a D or a R?

  30. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 3:39 pm:

    ===Didn’t see any reference, is she a D or a R? ===

    She’s a county-wide elected officer in Cook. If you have to ask that question, you need to find another blog to read.

  31. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 3:40 pm:

    …Maybe one with training wheels.

  32. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 3:43 pm:

    –Americans do not realize that this corrupt behavior is normal in much of the world. –

    Oh please. Speak for yourself. 323M people weren’t born yesterday.

  33. - OneMan - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 3:55 pm:

    Don’t tell JP that you can get a role in government for only 10,000….

    Wonder if someone is going to do a website showing how many jobs JB could have gotten with his campaign spend…

  34. - walker - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 4:19 pm:

    Waiting for this shoe to drop for, oh, 12 years.

  35. - LakeviewJ - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 4:21 pm:

    It’s great that *federal* court reporters are able to access new court filings so quickly.

  36. - The Way I See It - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 4:22 pm:

    She is the worst public official in America. Yes, worse than Berrios.

  37. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 4:39 pm:

    where is the outrage from Ms Twinkel or Mr Berrios they must be in the same league. How about Ald Burke what does he charge for judges? 10-25k??

  38. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 4:44 pm:

    –Love to know why the USA hasn’t indicted Brown yet if it has this kind of evidence–

    They are clearly building a case and probably would like to flip the ex-employee currently under indictment. This filing sends a strong signal that it is coming.

  39. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 6:29 pm:

    –Waiting for this shoe to drop for, oh, 12 years.–

    I always wondered if she was providing “guidance” to the federales on the malfeasance of others.

    About 20 years ago, a prominent alderman looked to be all fitted for a federal jacket, as one of his ghosts pleaded guilty and began yakking behind closed doors.

    The alderman never went down, but new indictments — involving deep digs into the minutiae of city budget and subcontractors — started popping up for the next few years.

  40. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 9:36 pm:

    word, reminiscent of “Individual K” in the Blagojevich scandal. Never teed up, but dominoes fell all around him as he faded into the Sea Island sunset.

  41. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 28, 18 @ 10:41 pm:

    –word, reminiscent of “Individual K” in the Blagojevich scandal.–

    Yeah, he had game. Bank the big score, then straight to the flipper switch.

  42. - 44th - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 8:07 am:

    Goats, payoffs and Chicago. Sadly these things seem to go hand in hand.

  43. - Stand Tall - Thursday, Mar 1, 18 @ 9:18 am:

    So basically business as usual in Chicago, Cook County and State of Illinois politics.

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