Suffredin supported, slammed
Jackson Jr., White endorse him; rival hits gambling work

January 7, 2008
BY ERIC HERMAN Criminal Courts Reporter
Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin snagged endorsements from two prominent African-American officials Sunday in his race for state's attorney -- but drew criticism for lobbying on behalf of the gambling industry.

Suffredin (D-Evanston) is one of six Democrats vying to succeed Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine.

Larry Suffredin has won the support of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in his bid for Cook County State's Attorney.

With the primary set for Feb. 5, the candidates have one month to grab voters' attention. U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Secretary of State Jesse White bypassed the two African-American candidates Sunday and threw their support to Suffredin.

"Larry Suffredin is a serious lawyer who will transform the state's attorney's office," said Jackson (D-Ill.).

Suffredin has painted public corruption as the No. 1 issue in the campaign and proposed creating a "public corruption strike force." Jackson said corruption in county government is an especially acute problem.

As a county commissioner, Suffredin "knows where the bones are buried," Jackson said.

'Public needs ... full story'
Suffredin's opponents for the nomination include Aldermen Tom Allen (38th) and Howard Brookins (21st), career prosecutors Anita Alvarez and Robert Milan, and defense lawyer Tommy Brewer. Brookins and Brewer are African American.

Suffredin said the endorsements show he will be competitive in southern Cook County, where he could eat into Brookins' support.

"I am the only candidate reaching out to every part of Cook County," Suffredin said.

But Alvarez slammed Suffredin for lobbying on behalf of casino companies as a lawyer in private practice.

Alvarez, currently Devine's chief deputy, said if casinos come to Cook County, Suffredin would be barred from investigating and prosecuting crimes associated with gambling. She called on him to disclose all of his lobbying work on behalf of casinos.

"Mr. Suffredin seems to be labeled as the progressive, as the reformer. Well, I think the public needs to have the full story," Alvarez said.

Suffredin said he has lobbied for Penn National Gaming and MGM and that he earned less than $50,000 in the last year for the work.

13th District, Larry Suffredin

Jesse Jackson Jr., South Side CongressmanChicago is a great center of both commerce and industry, and if its white collar offices are heavily concentrated in the Loop, its blue collar heavy industries are most visible on the far South Side. This heavy industry Chicago, diminished in importance economically today, is historically significant and, with the remnants of its great hulking factories around Lake Calumet and the nearby rail yards, has a certain undeniable majesty.

16 Comments:

  1. Levois said...
    Is that picture of Archer Avenue just at the corner of Clark Street!
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    Yep, South side!
    Oak Parker said...
    This development is a big plus for Tom Allen. Sufferdin is going to cut into the black support.
    SP Biloxi said...
    Chicago Native:

    A side note: 35 states have early voting. I will be posting that on my blog. Check with your area.
    Anonymous said...
    I wonder if Sufferdin will prosecute Assessor Houlihan for what happened below. Or will they just try to bury it?

    August 15, 2007
    BY ERIC HERMAN Staff Reporter eherman@suntimes.com
    Prosecutors charged a former employee of the Cook County Assessor's office Tuesday with stealing nearly $170,000 -- and using the money to shop at department stores and cover her daughter's college costs.
    Joyce Pierce, 51, allegedly raided an account kept for handling Freedom of Information requests, according to prosecutors. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison.

    Pierce managed the Freedom of Information department in Assessor James Houlihan's office. When the office levies charges for documents, those funds go into a bank account, sources said.

    According to assistant state's attorney John Carey, Pierce "withdrew for her personal benefit approximately $169,000 from the Cook County Assessor's account" at Chase Manhattan Bank. Pierce, an eight-year employee, made the multiple withdrawals from November 2002 through November 2005, he said.

    A source in Houlihan's office said the theft went undetected because the county stopped doing audits every year. But a law enforcement source said "there was really no oversight." The theft came to light after a periodic audit, which revealed documents had been altered.

    "We take the public trust very seriously and are cooperating fully with the investigation," Houlihan said in a statement. "We have taken steps to make sure this sort of problem doesn't happen again."

    Pierce bought money orders and used them to pay off credit card bills and, on one occasion, to pay $750 to the University of Pennsylvania, Carey said. Pierce's daughter, 21, attends the school, a source said.

    The credit card expenditures included purchases at Marshall Field's, Nordstrom and Saks, Carey said.

    Pierce, of Chicago's Roseland community, pleaded not guilty Tuesday. Her attorney, Neil Cohen, said she is likely to plead guilty later.

    "Our hope is we can avoid jail time," Cohen said.

    Judge Clayton Crane set bond at $110,000.



    W

    Posted by Third Generation Chicago Native at 8/15/2007
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    I am sure Houlihan did a lot of CYA, he said he is fully cooperating in the investigation,
    but that was a three year period of time and 169K, the auditors were not doing their job, that should have been caught the first year, if not the second. There was actually a lot of problems, this should have been caught internally first, but there aren't enough checks and balances, someone overlooking the general ledger and responsible for the postings was asleep at the job, or looking the other way, or getting a kickback.
    Just watch John Daley at the finance meetings......painful as it is, teacher turned CC Commissioner, chair of CC finance, mostly clueless.
    Will Suffredin get the Democratic run for this position?
    KittyBowTie1 said...
    "A source in Houlihan's office said the theft went undetected because the county stopped doing audits every year. But a law enforcement source said "there was really no oversight." The theft came to light after a periodic audit, which revealed documents had been altered."

    Whaaaat? Sorry, there are so many people with their hands in the cookie jars, there should be quarterly audits.
    KittyBowTie1 said...
    P.S. Busting people for theft and/or deterring people from stealing through tough audits ends up paying for itself.
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    Yes, really sad kitty no regular outside audits.
    Documents altered.
    Smaller businesses get audited on a regular basis, and have more checks and balances, I am sure there are more questionable activities, and if one person can get away with 169K over three years there needs to be a really good audit and find out what smaller amounts have vanished, and trace it back.
    Oak Parker said...
    I have heard from a reliable source that the previous assessor (Hynes) used to do an audit every evening and that under the present assessor (Houlihan) somehow that system of checks was stopped. I have heard that they do lots of things different there now. Kinda lax. Probably not a good thing.
    KittyBowTie1 said...
    Daily audits are probably like what banks do. I have a cousin who works in a bank. Years ago, he would check over the work of the tellers at the end of the day and catch the boo boos before they became bigger boo boos later. Those would be internal audits.

    What these clowns need is an outside auditing firm to come in and check over everything. Again, it costs money to hire corporate-type auditors but in the end, they pay for themselves because people take their hands out of the cookie jars. The reason why Enron got away with what they did is that their outside auditors from Anderson were in on it and that is actually very rare. That destroyed Anderson as a company. Now we have Sarbanes-Oxley and I think the outside auditors may be too paranoid to pull another Enron and stick their hands into the cookie jar. Seriously, it's time to clean house. If there weren't so many people using the taxpayers' money like it is their own personal bank account, there would be money for the CTA and probably just about everything else.
    Anonymous said...
    And after all that Jim Houlihan is still trying to prevent oversight of his office by attempting to pack the Board of Review. He is running another candidate name Deratanty. 100% hand picked.
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    Now Hynes is a thorn in Blagojevichs side.

    Just having someone review posting, or check runs, or new accounts entered, e.g. Marshall Field's should make someone want to look at the invoices, and call and verify the account or something.

    If someone got away with 169K over three years, you have to figure there was a lot more questionable activity going on.

    Now Donna Dunnings(CFO) handpicked some new auditors......

    You have to love this excerpt taken from Todd Strogers Budget proposal:

    6. All financial functions and responsibilities (including responsibility for the Health Funds)
    should be centralized and coordinated by the County Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
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