Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions


  Office phone numbers:  

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.


The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.

Stroger announces choice to be new public defender

Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
by John Flynn Rooney

Cook County Board President Todd H. Stroger has nominated veteran Cook County Associate Judge Abishi C. Cunningham to serve as the county's next chief public defender through March 2015.

Cunningham, who is known as ''A.C.,'' would replace Edwin A. Burnette, the county's public defender since 2003. Burnette's term expires on March 31.

Last year, Stroger mounted an attempt to fire Burnette and then dropped the plan in May. But a legal dispute involving Stroger and Burnette over who has the authority to hire and fire employees in the public defender's office remains pending in the 1st District Appellate Court.

Cunningham, 61, has served on the Cook County bench since 1986 and is currently assigned to the Law Division's Trial Section. A native of Welch, W.Va., Cunningham graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 1972 and initially worked as a legal assistant for what is now the State Board of Education. He could not be reached for comment early Wednesday afternoon.

Cunningham also worked as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer and private practitioner. He also has served as a supervising attorney in the now-defunct criminal defense consortium, an alternative to the public defender's office. He followed that with a brief stint in private practice before rejoining the Cook County state's attorney's office, where he rose to chief in the 1st Municipal District.

In a letter to Cook County commissioners that bore Tuesday's date, Stroger cited Cunningham's ''extensive legal and administrative experience that will be an asset in the administration of the Cook County public defender's office.''

Stroger's nomination of Cunningham was placed on the agenda for Wednesday's County Board meeting. At that meeting, Commissioner Lawrence J. Suffredin Jr. said that Stroger's nomination must be considered at a public hearing before the board's Legislation, Intergovernmental Relations and Veterans Committee, which he chairs.

That committee meeting will take place before the County Board's next regularly scheduled meeting on March 17, according to Suffredin. Cunningham's selection as public defender must receive the consent of the County Board members, he added.

Suffredin said he handled cases against Cunningham in the 1970s and called him a great lawyer and good judge.

''I'm disappointed [Stroger] didn't reappoint Ed Burnette,'' Suffredin said. ''But the people of Cook County will be well served by A.C. Cunningham.''

Burnette said he has met Cunningham in social situations but doesn't know him well.

''If [Cunningham] is selected, I will do everything [possible] to assist in a smooth transition,'' said Burnette, who has worked in the public defender's office since 1987, including a stint as first assistant. ''In my view, the work is more important that one individual and the work must go on.''

Nearly two weeks ago, the Chicago Council of Lawyers had called upon Stroger and County Board members to appoint a 15-member selection committee to conduct a search and identify appropriate candidates to fill the post.

The Council issued a written statement Wednesday saying its members look forward to working with Cunningham.

''But the Council is concerned that the position of public defender was filled without a public process,'' the statement added. ''We believe that transparent and reform-minded government demands that the selection process for the public defender requires a nationwide search and formal appointment process.''

Recent Headlines

Berrios relatives risk injury for right to crowd county payroll
Tuesday, July 29, 2104
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest Preserve HQ plans expansion in River Forest
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Records falsified in Metra work logs
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

How we shaft the mentally ill
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

County Board Of Review To Digitize, Streamline Property Tax Appeals System
Monday, July 28, 2014
Journal Online

Three DUI arrests, revoked license still on sheriff's payroll
Monday, July 28, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County approves road projects for upcoming years
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Northwest Indiana Times

Palatine, County Forest Preserve To Partner Up
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Palatine Journal Online

Man dies following beating at Cook County Jail
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health Board selects new leaders
Friday, July 25, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

The PrivateBank pledges $10 million to the Cook County Land Bank
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners switch votes, rehire erstwhile contractor
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board adds two questions to packed fall ballot
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County to cut buildings' carbon emissions
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Fox 32 Chicago

Cook County Board sends assault weapons referendum to the ballot
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County mulls fund-of-funds investment, other changes
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Pensions & Investments

Forest Preserves of Cook County to get expertise, guidance from new Policy Council
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Special to

Preserves and parks offering memorial trees and benches for a price
Monday, July 21, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Community leaders, sheriff aim to help mentally ill inmates
Monday, July 21, 2014
FOX 32 Chicago

TIF Revenue Down 2 Percent in Suburban Cook Co.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Palatine Patch

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.