Cook County News

Cook County, road builders tussle over home rule, control of county's 'transportation' money

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jun 13, 2018

With about a quarter of a billion dollars on the line in what the county calls a “test case” that could affect cities and counties across Illinois, Cook County has squared off in court against a coalition of trade groups representing road builders, as the two sides have asked a judge to decide whether a new Illinois state constitutional amendment negates the county’s authority to decide how to apportion its transportation tax dollars.

Judge: 'Harm to minority borrowers direct;' Cook County can continue predatory lending suit vs HSBC

By Dan Churney | Jun 5, 2018

A Chicago federal judge has eliminated several claims from a suit brought by Cook County against banking giant HSBC, for alleged predatory lending, but the judge said the county still made enough plausible allegations, including that HSBC discriminated against minorities, for the suit to survive.

Cook County Board approves tax incentives for industrial development in select areas of the county

By Justin Stoltzfus | May 25, 2018

The Cook County Board of Commissioners has officially put its stamp of approval on four proposals from the county’s Bureau of Economic Development that would grant tax incentives to select local businesses.

Facebook: Cook County data mining lawsuit designed to benefit only county government, its hired lawyers

By Jonathan Bilyk | May 10, 2018

Saying only the county and its hired trial lawyers would stand to benefit from any settlement or judgment, Facebook has pushed back against the Cook County State’s Attorney’s attempt to send back to more friendly legal turf the pending legal fight over how much blame Facebook should shoulder for data mining conducted by another firm, ostensibly to benefit the 2016 election campaign of President Donald Trump.

Class action suit says drug companies caused opioid crisis, heightened insurance costs

By Dan Churney | May 7, 2018

A Chicago class-action lawyer has filed a 97-page lawsuit in Chicago federal court against 13 drug companies and distributors, on behalf of a woman who alleges the companies promoted opioid use, knowing such painkillers were dangerously addictive, jacking up people's health insurance costs.

Former state's attorney Alvarez threatens ex-Springfield reporter, current state's attorney with defamation suit

By Jonathan Bilyk | May 3, 2018

Cook County former top prosecutor Anita Alvarez has threatened to sue prominent Illinois journalist Kerry Lester and Kim Foxx, who succeeded Alvarez as Cook County State’s Attorney, unless Lester agrees to retract statements attributed to Foxx in Lester’s new book on sexual harassment in Illinois politics, in which Foxx claims Alvarez failed to act to stop ongoing sexual harassment within her office because the alleged harasser was a friend.

Cook County Assessor sues board of ethics over campaign contribution fines

By Noddy A. Fernandez | May 1, 2018

While his days in office are numbered after losing in the Democratic primary election in March, Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios is suing the Cook County Board of Ethics and board members Peggy Daley, David Grossman, Thomas Szromba, Juliet Sorensen and Von Matthews for allegedly fining him for certain contributions that were made to his unsuccessful re-election campaign.

Sheriff seeks to throw out officers' Cook County court suit over Merit Board's makeup, says Board is now legit

By Dan Churney | May 1, 2018

Even as he seeks to dismiss a similar case in Chicago's federal court, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is also aiming to pop a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court in which seven sheriff's officers have asked for their disciplinary cases to be tossed because the sheriff's disciplinary board was improperly seated. The sheriff contends the board is now properly constituted and at any rate, the previously improper panel never disciplined the officers, much less even heard the officer's cases, he has asserted.

Cook County says suit vs Facebook on behalf of entire state of IL, so suit belongs in Cook courts

By Dan Churney | Apr 23, 2018

Cook County wants its lawsuit accusing Facebook of allowing user data to be mined by data firm Cambridge Analytica to aid President Donald Trump's election campaign, returned to Cook County court from federal court, where Facebook transferred it, arguing state court is the proper venue, because the suit is not just on behalf of the county, but everyone in Illinois.

Contract: Edelson to get 20 percent of Cook Co's take from suit vs Facebook; Facebook requests pause

By Jonathan Bilyk | Apr 18, 2018

Facebook has asked a Chicago federal judge to place on hold a lawsuit brought by Cook County and its trial lawyers, who stand to claim 20 percent of whatever the county may receive from the legal action over accusations the social media company improperly allowed data firm Cambridge Analytica to harvest information on about 50 million Facebook users to aid the 2016 election campaign of President Donald Trump.

Judge turns aside parents' attempts to sue those trying to take custody of kids after daughter's death

By Tomas Kassahun | Apr 17, 2018

A federal judge has ruled against a couple who filed a lawsuit against healthcare professionals and state officials who attempted to take their surviving children from them following the death of their daughter.

Ex-Cook County administrator again sues county, Preckwinkle and Silvestri, alleging retaliatory firing

By Dan Churney | Apr 16, 2018

A former Cook County staffer, who last month lost a federal suit in which he alleged he was fired in retaliation for exposing corruption in Elmwood Park and then running for the county board seat held by Elmwood Park's onetime Village President Peter Silvestri, is now attempting to press the same claims in Cook County Circuit Court.

Judge again sinks Brunswick's bid to undo $25M deal with lawyer who used jury note to avoid loss at trial

By Jonathan Bilyk | Apr 11, 2018

A Chicago federal judge has again turned aside an attempt by boatmaker Brunswick to undo a $25 million personal injury settlement the company says was obtained through fraud, as a federal judge said the company has failed again to lay claim to a protected interest violated by a rival lawyer’s decision to allegedly withhold information about a jury note moments before a verdict would have delivered a win to Brunswick.

Cook County 'use tax' revenue soars; county partners with collector, local lawyers to track down unpaid taxes

By Jonathan Bilyk | Apr 9, 2018

Cook County residents who have bought a car in recent years may need to begin watching their mail for an envelope from Cook County, demanding perhaps hundreds of dollars under a county tax, thanks to an ongoing, little-heralded arrangement with a debt collector and local law firm deputized to act as county attorneys.

Appeals panel: Fired worker's 'last chance agreement' lets Cook County sidestep arbitration over termination

By Scott Holland | Apr 6, 2018

A labor grievance against Cook County won’t avoid its day in court after a state appeals panel said a “Last Chance Agreement” between the county and a fired worker allows the county to sidestep a union collective bargaining agreement, and thus nixes the union’s attempt to send the matter to arbitration.

Big Cook Co. lawsuit could pave way for more road funds court fights in IL under Safe Roads Amendment

By Glenn Minnis | Mar 27, 2018

A $250 million lawsuit now pending against Cook County over its use of transportation-related tax money could be just the beginning of lawsuits against governments throughout Illinois over transportation funds in coming months under the Illinois Safe Roads Amendment.

Cook County hires Edelson, sues Facebook, Cambridge Analytica over use of data in '16 Trump campaign

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 26, 2018

Months after partnering with a Chicago law firm to file suit against Uber for its handling of customer data, Cook County and the firm of Edelson P.C. now has set their sights on Facebook, alleging the social media giant’s allegedly lax policies allowed data firm Cambridge Analytics to obtain data on about 50 million Facebook users to aid in the 2016 election campaign of President Donald Trump.

Cook County assessor accused of improperly assessing taxes for couple who qualified for IDNR freeze

By Louie Torres | Mar 21, 2018

A couple has sued Cook County, Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios and Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas for allegedly failing to properly assess their property for tax purposes.

Class action: Cook County Sheriff can't reintroduce 'sham' disciplinary complaints vs formerly fired deputies

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 14, 2018

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is facing yet another lawsuit over his handling of employee terminations before an illegally constituted merit board, as two fired Cook County deputies argue the sheriff has lost his chance to fire them and 230 other terminated sheriff’s officers, even after the board was reconstituted under new legislation.

Fired deputy accuses Cook County sheriff of wrongful termination

By Louie Torres | Mar 9, 2018

A former Cook County deputy sheriff is suing Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, the Cook County Sheriff's Merit Board and Cook County for alleged wrongful termination.

The Record Network