CHICAGO (CBS) — New questions about jobs for sale in the Cook County Circuit Clerk’s office.
The woman who runs the office, Dorothy Brown, is the focus of a federal probe.
She’s even been accused of transporting bribe money herself.
CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley poured through the latest court documents.
For five years, the feds have been investigating allegations that Cook County Court Clerk Dorothy Brown sold jobs in exchange for donations.
The alleged going rate: $10,000.
But a newly-released court document claims Brown herself collected the cash.
“It’s your classic type of honest services fraud, accepting bribes or kickbacks for jobs. It’s a very serious allegation,” said former federal prosecutor Sergio Acosta.
One of Brown’s former top aides, Beena Patel, faces perjury charges and wanted information obtained after the FBI searched her cellphone thrown out of court.
But judge Sarah Ellis said no, writing that an FBI’s agent’s affidavit “described in great detail an alleged scheme in which individuals are buying positions and promotions…”
That affidavit also said another worker in Brown’s office claimed, “people seeking employment make payments to employee one, a clerk’s office employee, and the clerk (Dorothy Brown) periodically goes to employee one’s home to collect the payments.”
“It’s an affidavit by an FBI agent, which is a very important piece of evidence,” said Acosta. “But it’s just a piece of evidence.”
Brown, who’s launched a mayoral campaign, has not been indicted. She has repeatedly called the allegations “lies.”
Acosta said while it’s clear Brown is a target, when asked if there is any indication that prosecutors are getting any closer to Dorothy Brown “based on my very limited knowledge, not that I’ve seen.”
Patel once managed close to 500 employees in Brown’s office. She has pleaded not guilty to lying to a federal grand jury.