Clerk Dorothy Brown Gets 17 Jobs Abruptly Restored

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.”

More from Mike Parker
  • Just Axin

    That Dorothy has been a scammer since day 1. I believe she cut whites out of her office when she first got in so she can insert brothers.

    • Casey Thomas

      Turn about is fair play.
      IT OUR TURN !

    • a frustrated employee

      not brothers but sisters

      just saying

  • tom Sharp


    • Roberta Waker

      Term limits are a great idea; however, if you elect someone that is really GOOD, then it isn’t such a good idea because they will only be able to serve one term. We need to prosecute and fire those that don’t do their jobs; these people work for the taxpayers and should be held accoutable for what they do.

      • Roberta Waker

        Ooops. Sorry, it should be accountable.

      • tom Sharp

        You can count on one hand and have fingers left to get the number of “good” politicians in this entire state!! I say toss them all and cry about the 2 or 3 out of thousands that didn’t deserve it rather than keep electing crooks like Madigan, Brown, Burke, etc. The good people can always find ways to make in impact via public service or volunteer work of some kind.

    • dominic

      she’s one of daley’s favorites. why, we’ll never know.

  • Centurion

    I found $700,000 I didn’t know I had!
    Well, unfortunately, that $700K was set aside for BONUSES to her homies. Sorry, Melvin….no bonus for you this year.

  • Bob Hamilton

    Shouldn’t she be under investigation or indictment? Why does she need drivers? If she does not know how to drive, the CTA and PACE can get her where she needs to go. Seriously.

  • Jim Hamilton

    73,226 Dollars for a driver isn’t this taking a union job away haha wait till this word gets out she hires scabs lol oh she’ll get a pass I’m sure

  • found money yeah right

    “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.”

    Rahm has to take a look at that mess. And he will. You know he will.

    “Finding” $700,000—-that’s corrupt old guard/Daley b.s.

    He getting rid of that free ride b.s. for everybody. Get your own car. Drive your a-s-s yourself.

    Our mayor is surrounded by the corrupt old guard who are making him look like a stupid a-s-s and they can’t wait for him to take a hike.

    • Chicago

      Rahm has nothing to do with this office of Dorothy Brown. She belongs to Preckwinkle = Crook County Government employee.

      • Roberta Waker

        You might be right, but I would think the Mayor could do something; after all, it IS his city now. He should be able to request an investigation into her office even if he can’t do anything as Mayor. Preckwinkle is responsible for Cook County and if she does nothing; investigate her. Something needs to be done.

  • Roberta Waker

    Brown should be fired for incompetence if she didn’t know she had $700,000 laying around in her budget. Then, her department needs to have an independent firm go over the books to find out exactly how her money is being spent. A Federal investigation could very well be in order too. Go get her, Rahm.

    • Ms. R

      Kudos..I couldn’t agree more. Bring on the FEDS..time for “Crook County” to be under scrutiny. Ms. Preckwinkle..wasn’t your platform to reform the way business was done, cut out cronyism, and save money? Here you have a department head that didn’t know there was almost 3/4 of a million dollars “missing”? Just how efficient is her department? Hmmmm, and if no one knew it was there…who would know where it went once Ms. Brown left office??? Just what was this so called “Investigator” investigating??? Time for some fresh eyes to take a look at this one.

  • LOTD

    Anyone actually suprised by another crooked black democrat ?? Ofcourse she’ll get away with this, or she will play the race card !!

  • Barbvotes

    Imagine my surprise that anther artiicle full of wrong information has appeared. If the reporter had listened to the Explanation given, he would of told everyone that $700,000 was available from the sacrifice of her employees taking 10 furlough days. I had no idea the press thinks that giving people their jobs back during the trying time is a bad thing. That employees sacrificing to help others keep their jobs is a terrible thing.

    Imagine my surprise that commissioner Fritchey would use the county board meeting as a platform for his personal agenda – supporting Clerk Browns opponent.

    Imagine my surprise that an elected official should be called to task by the media because the reporter doesnt understand the job titles or responsibilities of the office. Since when does an elected official not get to run her office?

    Imagine my surprise that some of the people reading articles such as this one, choose to believe the lies than research and find the truth.

    I say thank you Cclerk Brown for saving as many jobs as you can.

    • the taxpayer

      you have to donate (payoff) to save your job. its the old crook county way. let just vote her out and be done with her.

    • a frustrated employee

      She only saved the jobs of those who can contribute to her political ambitions. As an employee that has watched investigators do essentially nothing for the past few years I know first hand. They escort the till twice a day. Period. Giving jobs back is a good thing but giving jobs back to ex CPD and Ill State Troopers who are already getting a pension is ridiculous. Maybe the reporter doesn’t fully comprehend the the office but I do. Speaking of job titles most managers are classified in their proper titles anyway so what does that matter. If you talk to someone like retired assistant chief Harvey Fulwiley he will tell you its not what you know but what you can do financially.

    • tom Sharp

      Here’s hoping you and her other patronage pals aren’t around to vote in the next election!

      • LOTD


  • December 1, 2011: Clerk Dorothy Brown gets 17 jobs abruptly restored | Commissioner John Fritchey

    […] Link to video […]

  • just a say

    First how do you loose that amount of money? Isn’t Brown a CPA? What does she need a driver for I thought that’s why we had Pace, CTA, and Metra for? Really who is lying to who? She would rather re hire her driver then save 4 regular clerk jobs, wow when is the election again? I say Feds where are you, you once cleaned up City Hall come clean up the county and the broken piggy bank.

  • just a say

    Ooops forgot to ask is that the Jean Day Money that she so happened to find? Stroger if your reading this get ready for the next run because you should have never left to begin with.

  • just a say

    Barbvotes listen to yourself yes its wrong to give jobs back to investigators that have nothing to investigate that’s what you have the inspector generals office for. Hire back your real workers not your friends.

  • a frustrated employee

    A Damn Shame,

    I work for this office and something is foul. Brown just laid off 69 union employees who made under 30k a year to rehire investigators who literally play on the internet all day and drive her around. If you look in room 602 in the Daley Center there is an investigator named Mario who is a waste of space. Managers who were fired that had political connections were immediately rehired when they were informed that campaign contributions would stop. There is lots of talk around the office of a certain ethnic group paying 10k a piece for their jobs don’t know if it’s true but it needs to be looked into. The employees that were laid off were very hard workers but their flaw was that they were not an asset to Browns political ambitions (Pay to Play). Of course she is going to rehire the people who she can intimidate and force to buy fundraiser tickets. Also I believe that a gender discrimination bias exists in her office the majority of the office is female and so is most of the management staff. In Civil the chief, assistant chiefs, and the majority of the managers are African American females as well as most of her executive staff. Because of the corruption there is no room for honest growth for anyone who cant contribute financially. Finally you don’t loose 700k and if you did your CFO should be fired. The people of Cook County should demand that an independent accounting agency audit her books. Anita Alvarez I hope you are listening.

  • Brown Says She Needs To Keep Her Bodyguards, Following Several Threats « CBS Chicago

    […] staff provided copies of the threats a day after the Cook County Board restored 17 jobs in the clerk’s department.  One of the jobs was for Melvin Darby, an investigator who has been known to drive […]

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