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Clerk Dorothy Brown Gets 17 Jobs Abruptly Restored

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Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown appears at the County Board meeting Thursday. (CBS)

Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown appears at the County Board meeting Thursday. (CBS)

Mike Parker Mike Parker
Mike Parker has been a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago...
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CHICAGO (CBS) —  Seventeen jobs that were cut from the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s office last week were suddenly restored Thursday after office head Dorothy Brown told commissioners she discovered $700,000 that she didn’t know she had in her budget.

CBS2’s Mike Parker reports there’s some grumbling about the move.

Brown  lobbied  Cook County commissioners on Thursday, trying to round up votes to save 17 of her department’s jobs – positions the board cut when they passed the 2012 budget last week.

A handful of commissioners voted against the emergency budget amendment, but it passed, anyway.

One of the jobs saved belongs to Melvin Darby. Brown hired him in 2003 at a yearly salary of $73,226. His job title is “Director of Investigations,” but his occasional role is serving as Brown’s driver. A spokeswoman for Brown said Darby is not the clerk’s exclusive driver and that other investigators help transport Brown.

Commissioner John Fritchey was one of four county board members who opposed the move.

“When I asked her in the budget hearings what that individual did, I got a very circuitous answer. When I asked the person that was testifying on behalf of the clerk if Mr. Darby was, in fact, the clerk’s driver, he simply said he didn’t know.”

“It’s a cat-and-mouse game to find out who does what on that payroll,” Fritchey said. “People have historically been mislabeled for what their job title says they do —  from what they actually do.”

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