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Brown Says She Needs To Keep Her Bodyguards, Following Several Threats

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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) — County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown says somebody wants to kill her, and that’s why she’s being driven from place to place by three of her investigators.

CBS2’s Mike Parker examined some of the threats.

They are pretty creepy.  One man who wrote to Brown suggests she is in his sights, “especially coming out of your office and walking to your car.”

“There’s at least been a dozen, if not more,” of the threats, Brown press secretary Enza Rainieri says.

CBS 2 saw documentation of two threats. In one, from 2007, a prison inmate sent Brown a list of people targeted for death, including former Mayor Daley. Brown was at the top of the list.

“I’m untouchable,” the man wrote, “like a ghost through the night. You’re not safe wherever you go.”

In 2008, another inmate wrote, “When I beat this rap, you and your family will pay. My enemies will die a thousand deaths.”

Brown’s 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 Brown.

Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey criticized the move, saying Brown was using investigators as chauffeurs.

But Rainieri says the drivers are acting as “bodyguards.”

“She doesn’t have a chauffeur. That has never been the case at all,” she says. “She does have somebody who does accompany her … It’s not their full-time job.”

Not every local official has a security staff.

“I drive myself and I ride my bike, so at most, my security detail is either my seat belt or my helmet,” Chicago City Clerk Susanna Mendoza told CBS2 over the summer.

Perhaps surprisingly, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has no bodyguard detail.

The court clerk’s office says all of the threats were reported to proper authorities, the FBI, County Sheriff, Chicago Police and even the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In one case, the writer was convicted of making a threat and had six years tacked on to his state prison sentence.

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