Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

   
  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



Cook County Highway Department accused of dumping waste
Inspector general finds mounds of contaminants at Riverdale, Palatine sites

Thursday, December 22, 2011
Chicago Tribune
by Erika Slife

For years, Cook County highway workers have been dumping roadway and sewer waste at two work yards, creating large mounds that potentially could be contaminating the environment, according to a watchdog report released Wednesday.

The pollutants include gasoline, oil, antifreeze and other chemicals that county workers collect while sweeping roadways and cleaning sewers, Inspector General Patrick Blanchard's report states. The workers then dump the waste on Highway Department property, creating huge toxic piles that could potentially cause runoff and contaminate the surrounding soil and sewage systems, according to the report.

Board President Toni Preckwinkle said she has the report, but didn't offer specifics on how she would deal with the mounds of pollutants at county sites in Riverdale and Palatine.

"We are putting our entire process under review. We will be working to determine the extent of any environmental problems and with new leadership, will be rectifying any noncompliance," Preckwinkle said in a statement.

The Highway Department has long been considered a patronage dumping ground in county government and a problem Preckwinkle needed to address.

In July, Preckwinkle accepted the resignation of predecessor Todd Stroger's highway superintendent, Rupert Graham Jr. Earlier this month, the County Board approved Preckwinkle's replacement of Graham with John Yonan, former deputy commissioner and chief engineer for the Chicago Department of Transportation. Yonan still needs to pass a state test before he can be confirmed.

"As a first step, we are putting in place a change in leadership at the start of the new year," said Preckwinkle, who just completed her first year in office. "We have hired a new superintendent whose first priority will be to tackle the issues that need to be addressed in the (inspector general's) report."

Blanchard noted that the federal Environmental Protection Agency recommends that street sweeping programs should include proper storage and disposal of waste. Blanchard's report also stated that county workers repeatedly were skirting state inspections of county vehicles because of a severe shortage of working equipment.

For example, workers would replace worn tires on vehicles with tires from cars that had already passed inspection, or pull fire extinguishers from cars and put them in the vehicles that were about to be inspected.

"The (office of the inspector general) learned that in order to maximize the number of certified vehicles in the fleet, the Highway Department uses a limited supply of interchangeable equipment to pass safety inspections," Blanchard wrote.

Other vehicles were simply being used with expired inspection stickers, Blanchard's office found.

Preckwinkle said she's working on the issues.

"The IG's site inspections have revealed a pattern of waste and mismanagement that can be rectified through a series of internal controls, additional monitoring and attention to compliance with local and federal regulations," Preckwinkle said.




Recent Headlines

Cook County chief judge pushes reopening dates back
Friday, May 29, 2020
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Friday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Friday, May 29, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health narrows CEO field to 12, plans to open another building at jail for COVID-19 response
Friday, May 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Editorial: Cook County Hospital is a stunning trauma survivor
Friday, May 29, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Suburban restaurants open for outdoor dining Friday. Here’s what to know.
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Kaegi to cut assessments on homes, condos by 8 to 12 percent
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Why is My Park Closed? Some Chicagoans Complain of Losing Access to Parks That Should Be Open
Thursday, May 28, 2020
wttw

Here’s what will be different Friday, when most of the state (but not Chicago) moves into phase three of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Chicago Tribune

First two Cook County judges test positive for COVID-19
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

First 2 Cook County Judges Test Positive for COVID-19
Thursday, May 28, 2020
WTTW News

Here’s what will be different Friday, when most of the state (but not Chicago) moves into phase three of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Chicago Tribune

The Spin: Nation, Illinois, Cook County reach grim coronavirus death milestones |
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Chicago Tribune

How COVID will change your CTA ride
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County M.E.’s autopsies in less than five months surpass entire 2019 tally: ‘We do not believe that these deaths had to occur’
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

2 exonerated men file federal suits claiming Chicago police and Cook County prosecutors framed them for murder as teens
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Peoples Gas encourages customers to apply for financial assistance
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Chicago Crusader

Folks Are In Limbo’: Cook County Court Shutdown Could Stretch Into July
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
WBEZ News

Chicago-area municipalities to rely on counties for CARE Act money
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
The Daily Line

Local governments set to get small slice of $4.9B coronavirus relief package headed to Illinois
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
The Daily Line

all news items

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