Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Calls It Quits
Crusader Staff Report
Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown has decided not to seek re-election in 2020, ending a 20-year career that overcame many challenges and political battles. She confirmed her decision with the Crusader after Politico broke the story Wednesday, August 13.
The announcement comes ahead of the Cook County Democratic Party candidate slating that was scheduled to begin Thursday.
Brown was first elected in 2000 and was re-elected three times as she gained a reputation as an unsinkable elected official who shared a special bond with Black voters who stuck by her in good times and bad.
“There were people that, since day one, didn’t like the fact that I was here, did not like the fact that I was elected to this office, and attempted to take me down, all of this time. Went over to that federal government and told those lies,” Brown said.
Brown told ABC 7 Chicago that she has a lot of pride in her career and described her time in public service as a privilege.
“I am so proud of the fact that people come to me and talk about the fact that I even responded to them while they were in prison. They were able to get out of prison because of my staff providing them with information,” Brown said.
“You know, I just decided that… November 3rd of 2020, I will have 20 years. I will be fully vested. So it’s a good, solid foundation to catapult me to the next level,” Dorothy Brown said. “I’ll be able to help other people.”
Brown is facing an ongoing federal probe into pay-to-play allegations in her office. She said that wasn’t a factor in her decision not to seek re-election.
Progressive reformer and Democratic candidate for Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Jacob Meister issued the following statement in response to Dorothy Brown’s announcement that she will not be seeking re-election for Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court:
“Four years ago I announced my candidacy to run against Dorothy Brown because the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office is a patronage den and bureaucratic disaster of lost paperwork and dinosaur age technology.
“It is tragic that the second largest court system in the country still relies on carbon paper and hastily handwritten documentation on a daily basis. Lost files and handwritten paperwork result in an unacceptable rate of errors, which often translates to people remaining in jail when they should be released, wrongful evictions and foreclosures.
“The office needs to be transformed, both operationally and ethically and I offer a clear vision to achieve the needed reform.”