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.
   
     
     
     



Preckwinkle cleaning up a mess at morgue

Monday, June 25, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by LAURA WASHINGTON

Watching her conduct at a news conference last week reminded me of a conversation we’d had in early March, weeks into the worst embarrassment of her administration.

As we chatted over ice cream and hot tea at Preckwinkle’s favorite downtown diner, she recalled her visit to a cooler at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. “So I went in the cooler, um, and it’s pretty sobering. And it’s, uh, it smells like embalming fluid. . . .

And it was filled with bodies. Lots and lots of dead bodies.

Had she ever been inside a body cooler before?

“No, I can’t say that I have,” she replied in her trademark deliberate, yet understated way.

Did she think she would ever end up there?

“It wasn’t something that I would have predicted.” Pause. Wry chuckle. “Nothing I envisioned when I ran for office, no.”

Preckwinkle’s “tour” of the cooler at the county morgue followed sensational media revelations that detailed the morbid mishandling of hundreds of bodies, body parts and bodily fluids. In January, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that bodies were “piling up” in the morgue’s storage cooler. At one point, 400 adults and about 100 babies were stacked in a cooler designed for less than 300.

Last Tuesday, Preckwinkle called in the media to announce a sweeping overhaul of the examiner’s office. Chief Medical Examiner Nancy Jones was retiring. Kimberly Jackson, the morgue’s top administrator, was ousted. Preckwinkle has vowed to remake the “culture” of the office and clean up the patronage-laden, under-resourced operation.

Some might wonder what took her so long. Preckwinkle did not begin firing people as soon as the macabre news broke. She does not possess an itchy trigger finger, unlike a certain mayor down the hall.

Preckwinkle, an uber policy wonk, is as deliberative in her actions as her words. She detailed her chief administrative officer, Robin Kelly, to do an exhaustive review of the operation.

Preckwinkle never thought she would end up standing in that cooler. Yet she had to know that by succeeding Todd Stroger, she was entering an administrative House of Horrors. For example, Jackson was reportedly a Stroger patronage hire, a certified member of his friends-and-family plan.

The morgue, like many county agencies, is charged with caring for the indigent. Those adults and infants belonged to grieving families who couldn’t afford to pay for a proper burial. Public aid funds are designated to help cover such costs, but a combination of budget cuts, incompetence and finger-pointing allowed the bodies to pile up. It was a desecration of the poorest of the poor.

Stroger always proclaimed he was their champion, but it seems the only people he really took care of were his 8th Ward cronies.

Preckwinkle may be cleaning up the Stroger legacy for a long time to come.



Recent Headlines

Artist Builds Effigy Mounds to Honor Indigenous People in Cook County
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
WTTW News

Cook County on pace for more than 900 homicides in 2020: medical examiner
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Skokie seeks federal reimbursement for coronavirus-related expenses
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Racial Equity Week
Monday, September 14, 2020
WTTW News

When Cook County inmates await trial for years, true justice is thwarted
Monday, September 14, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois records 1,462 new COVID-19 cases, 14 additional deaths
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois tallies 2,121 more coronavirus cases, but testing positivity rate drops
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County health department announces plans to spend up to $5.4M fighting COVID-19 in most-affected areas
Friday, September 11, 2020
Chicago Tribune

The first COVID-19 patients in Illinois faced stigma, bigotry. But experts say their contributions to science taught the US much about the virus.
Friday, September 11, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Suburban Chicago mom of strangled teen: Why, after 10 years, has suspect still not gone to trial?
Friday, September 11, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Why hospitals don't treat everyone equally
Friday, September 11, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

1,953 New COVID-19 Cases in Illinois, 28 Additional Deaths
Thursday, September 10, 2020
WTTW News

Gov. Pritzker Announces $16 Million Investment to Connect Out of Work Illinoisans with 1,300 COVID-19 Response Jobs
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Dipping COVID-19 numbers put Illinois in ‘decent position,’ but Pritzker urges staying the course: ‘We can’t outrun this virus’
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

President Preckwinkle Announces Event Details for Second Annual Racial Equity Week, September 14 – 18, 2020
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Chicago Crusader

Activists call for alternative Cook County ‘Budget for Black Lives’
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

More dips in summer COVID-19 roller coaster: State’s daily caseload and positive test rates down after week of climbs
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Activists, nurses union demand $157 million cut from Cook County sheriff’s office budget next year: ‘Black life is a priority’
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Pappas: Check your mortgage account if you refinanced this year. My office returned a record $51.2 million in property tax overpayments
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

UI Hospital seeks to block some nurses from striking
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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