Federal Investigators Probe Busy Court Clerk’s Office

21 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Employee of Cook County Court Clerk Dorothy Brown Charged by Feds.

CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago has announced an indictment in what it describes as an ongoing investigation of the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s office. (CHICAGO) Federal prosecutors have charged an employee of Cook County Court Clerk Dorothy Brown with lying before a federal grand jury that is investigating the purchasing of jobs and promotions in Brown’s office, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The charge, made public Friday, alleges that Rajaram was rehired by Brown’s office in September 2014, just weeks after he purportedly lent $15,000 to a company controlled by Brown’s husband, Benton Cook III. Senior clerk Sivasubramani Rajaram, 48, loaned a company owned by Brown’s husband $15,000 in August 2014, just before he was hired in the office, prosecutors say. He also testified he had only spoken to another high-ranking employee of the Clerk’s Office “three or four times” since returning to Chicago from India, and that the conversations were not by phone. At October’s party gathering, Brown said reports about an investigation were “unsubstantiated.” She added: “In my heart of hearts, I have not done anything wrong.” Court documents offer no explanation of Goat Masters Corporation, including what line of business it might have been involved in.

The indictment alleged that Rajaram had spoken with Brown and the high-ranking employee, including dozens of cellphone conversations with Individual B, according to the charges. Sources told the newspaper the probe involved a 2011 land deal involving a longtime campaign contributor that netted Brown and her husband tens of thousands of dollars. Patel, who is now deceased, gave the 2,275-square-foot, triangle-shaped property on South Pulaski Road to Brown’s husband at no cost in June 2011, records show. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Brown, who is seeking a fifth term in the Democratic primary in March, for years faced criticism about accepting cash gifts and campaign contributions from her employees and their relatives.

The following year, Brown stopped charging employees to wear blue jeans on “jeans days” after the county inspector general determined that the program needed better money-handling and record-keeping procedures.

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