Cook County Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown’s land deal probed

Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown and her husband are under investigation for a lucrative, but questionable, land deal.

Brown’s husband, Benton Cook III, obtained a 2,200 square-foot piece of land in the North Lawndale neighborhood at Pulaski and Ogden for free from a longtime campaign contributor to Brown in 2011.

The lawyer for the contributor says the parcel was unsellable, and says there was a $29,000 lien on it at the time.

The court clerk became a co-owner, and her private, for-profit development company sold the land for $100,000 in 2012, therefore earning about $70,000.

“The B.G.A. thought it was very troubling for an elected official and her husband to get a free parcel of land from one of her major contributors, and then turn around and sell that parcel for $100,000, and never declare that on her campaign finance forms or her ethics statements,” said the President of the Better Government Association, Andy Shaw.

This investigation comes as State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office is already looking into money Benton Cook III received as part of a controversial, anti-violence program that Gov. Pat Quinn launched in 2010.

Dorothy Brown hasn’t responded to this latest report.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this story.

 

 

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