CHICAGO (CBS) — A bombshell document filed Wednesday in federal court outlines thousands of dollars in alleged payoffs to Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown for jobs and promotions.
CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports the allegations also indicate that employees paid or loaned thousands of dollars to her campaign.
Brown, who has been elected five times, has been the target of an ongoing corruption investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which has already resulted in criminal charges against two of her top associates.
One of those cases is against Beena Patel. To justify search warrants the FBI had obtained for Patel’s phones, the government recently filed a document revealing previously undisclosed information it had collected from interviews with former and current employees.
Some of the many allegations include:
- An employee alleged the “going rate” for a job appeared to be about $10,000;
- Another employee paid $30,000 in recent years to the clerk personally;
- Another $10,000 to Goat Masters, a meat supply company, associated with the clerk;
- And another paid for the clerk’s trip to India.
Brown, who was not available Wednesday in her office in the Daley Center, has previously denied any wrongdoing in the five-year investigation. For example, after she appeared before the Cook County slating committee and was not endorsed she said, “It’s really unfair to even consider rescinding an endorsement based on innuendo.”
Patel has plead not guilty to charges that she committed perjury before a grand jury investigating corruption in the Clerk’s Office.
Another employee was sentenced to probation after his conviction for lying to the grand jury.