Federal Probe Into Cook County Official Reportedly Gains Steam

(CBS) – A call for the resignation of Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown from the candidate planning to run against her in next year’s Democratic primary.

CBS Chief Correspondent Jay Levine has more on the cloud hanging over Brown and her office.

It’s the kind of cloud generated by a federal investigation, which we’ve learned tonight, has spread from a real estate deal involving her husband, to the clerk herself.

“It’s time for Dorothy Brown to step aside,” expected opponent Jacob Meister says.

Dorothy Brown marched in Monday’s Columbus Day parade, like so many other politicians. This was despite the controversy triggered by the real-estate deal in which she and her husband, Benton Cook III, allegedly flipped a house they were given as a gift by a supporter, for $100,000. An investigation appears to be picking up steam.

The feds refuse to confirm several independent reports that they visited Brown’s South Shore home, where news helicopters hovered overhead last week.

A Brown spokesperson said she was not available for comment.

Brown is campaigning for a fifth term in office, spending thousands of dollars on fundraisers, where her opponents claim her employees are being urged to contribute.

Brown has a history of putting the arm on employees. Five years ago, CBS 2 reported they were forced to pay for the privilege of wearing jeans at the office on Fridays, with the money going to a mysterious fund Brown herself controlled.

The “Jeans Days” story was just the first in a number of controversies that have dogged Brown, but until now they haven’t drawn the scrutiny of the feds.

More from Jay Levine

Watch & Listen LIVE