Circuit Court of Cook County Clerk’s Office modernizes 1 year after Brown’s departure

WGN Investigates

CHICAGO — A year has passed since Iris Martinez took over as clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Martinez and her staff showed WGN Investigates around last December as they tried to clear office space that for overloaded with case files and boxes. As of Tuesday, they are still trying to clear it.

That hasn’t always been easy. The clerk’s office was understaffed by 300 people when she took over. The office has filled 100 positions so far and are modernizing an office led by Dorothy Brown for 20 years.

And they’ve had to deal with a data breach. Back in August, the office’s website, which is used by thousands to look up case information, was tapped into by hackers.

Martinez said no personal information was exposed, but her staff opted to take parts of the website offline.

“Now we’re rebuilding a website that has all old software, old data software,” Martinez said. “Right now, with technology, there’s a lot more technology that is helping to prevent ransomware and some of these other things going on out there.”

Martinez and her staff now have to meet a court-ordered deadline. Last week, on Dec. 6, a new portal will launch called Odyssey — which will allow attorneys and members of the public to file legal documents online.

WGN’s Lourdes Duarte has more above.

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