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Pres. Preckwinkle may administer prisoner release program

Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times
by Michael Sneed

Passing the buck or a political power grab?

Sneed hears Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle may get a sheriff’s badge.

Translation: The Cook County Board of Commissioners is set to vote on a resolution Wednesday recommending Preckwinkle be given unprecedented authority to administer the prisoner release program at Cook County Jail.

Is Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, who is in charge of the prison population and dealing with record overcrowding — but reluctant to release prisoners on electronic monitoring for fear of letting loose a monster — willing to hand over that power to Preckwinkle?

A top source tells Sneed both Dart and Preckwinkle have “been doing a lot of wheeling and dealing” lately and seem to be heading in the same direction.

Sneed is told the resolution is backed by Dart. “It would shift the administration of the federally monitored prisoner release program to Preckwinkle’s office, but there would be no unbridled authority to release prisoners,” said a Dart source

“It’s two offices working together instead of being concerned about who has the most power.”

Stay tuned.



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