Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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 Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Dorothy Brown worker who allegedly lied to federal grand jury set for trial

Sunday, April 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune
by John Seidel

 

Dorothy Brown worker who allegedly lied to federal grand jury set for trial

Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown speaks to reporters outside the Chicago Board of Elections after she was kicked off the Chicago mayoral ballot, Tuesday morning, Jan. 22, 2019. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file photo

 

The feds came calling for Dorothy Brown’s cell phone more than three years ago.

Not much has come of it, though. Not for Brown. Job-selling allegations have swirled around the clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County ever since. Still, she won re-election in 2016 and has yet to face any criminal charges. The same can’t be said for two people who worked in her office who have since been charged with perjury.

This week, federal prosecutors are preparing to put one of those workers, Beena Patel, on trial. Her case has already opened the widest window yet into the probe that led investigators to Brown’s home late in 2015, and Patel’s trial could reveal even more. It begins Tuesday in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Sara Ellis.

Walter Jones Jr., Patel’s defense attorney, said none of the evidence in the case will put his client anywhere near the bribery allegations that have been central to the years-long investigation of Brown and her office. He also said Patel maintains her innocence.

“The focus of this whole thing has been on bribes or some other thing,” Jones told the Chicago Sun-Times. “My client has not been indicted for that.”

Instead, Patel faces a three-count indictment filed in 2017 that alleges she told multiple lies during two appearances before a federal grand jury, on Oct. 15, 2015, and July 14, 2016. The panel had been looking into the alleged purchasing of jobs and promotions inside Brown’s office, according to the indictment.

Neither Brown nor her husband, Benton Cook III, appear on government witness lists, though Jones has challenged whether prosecutors can admit certain evidence without calling Cook to the stand. Jones has yet to name any potential witnesses.

Like Brown, Cook has not been charged with a crime. Despite a request from the Sun-Times, a Brown spokeswoman offered no comment on the upcoming trial of Patel.

Patel allegedly lied when she claimed not to know if a colleague in the clerk’s office, Sivasubramani Rajaram, had spoken to law enforcement or testified before the grand jury. She is also accused of lying about sales within the clerk’s office of tickets to Brown’s campaign fundraisers, as well as her efforts in 2015 to help another colleague get a promotion through Brown’s chief of staff.

Each perjury count carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.

Rajaram admitted in 2016 that he lied to the grand jury in October 2015U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman gave him three years of probation after he said he was “seriously scared of other people.” He didn’t offer specifics.

Prosecutors have also accused Rajaram of landing his job at the clerk’s office by loaning $15,000 to a business tied to Brown and her husband known as Goat Masters. However, Patel told the grand jury he actually gave that money to a “well-connected millionaire” and learned only later that the millionaire had given it to Goat Masters, records show.

Meanwhile, an indictment last month also implicated Brown in an alleged pay-to-play scheme involving Pennsylvania businessman Donald Donagher Jr., who has been charged with bribery. But the cases against Rajaram and Patel have done the most to shed light on the investigation that threatened to derail Brown’s career in October 2015.

That’s when it became known the feds had seized her county-issued cell phone.

Prosecutors have since said they actually seized four phones in the fall of 2015. The phones belonged to Brown, Rajaram, Patel and another clerk’s office employee. At the time, prosecutors said, they were looking into allegations that Brown “was hiring and promoting employees within the clerk’s office for money.”

A clerk’s office employee had alleged the “going rate” for a job there was $10,000, prosecutors said. Further, the feds had allegedly been told Brown had a bagman in the office, and a general impression had formed there that “financial benefits to the clerk could result in securing promotions.”

Some witnesses had also offered “dubious or false information” about suspected bribe payments, prosecutors said. Then, on Oct. 1, 2015, Rajaram allegedly lied to the grand jury about communicating with Brown.

The feds asked for a search warrant to search the cell phones the next day.

 

 



Recent Headlines

Preckwinkle, Foxx: Don't let looters hijack reform
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Gov. Pritzker activates Illinois National Guard, issues disaster proclamation for Cook County
Sunday, May 31, 2020
WSILTV Channel 3

Order to prevent spread of coronavirus at Cook County Jail to continue while sheriff’s office appeals
Friday, May 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

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

This official is trying to fix a problem that Springfield won't
Friday, May 29, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

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

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

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

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

all news items

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