Your NPR news source
County Building

A former Cook County official was charged criminally by federal prosecutors earlier this year.

Tyler LaRiviere

Former high-ranking Cook County official faces federal criminal case

Not long after he left his high-ranking local government post earlier this year, a former top aide to the clerk of the Cook County courts was charged criminally by federal prosecutors, according to U.S. District Court records.

The office of the U.S. attorney in Chicago alleges Patrick Hanlon “willfully failed” to file federal income-tax returns for three years before he worked for the county’s court clerk.

He also used to work in the county assessor’s office and was an elected trustee in south suburban Worth Township.

Hanlon, 57, resigned from the office of Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Iris Martinez on March 3, and the following month he was charged in federal court in Chicago, records show.

Hanlon’s title was executive clerk for public policy and external affairs, which included responding to news media on behalf of the court clerk’s office. County records show he began working for Martinez when she took office in December 2020 and was being paid $145,652.50 a year when he quit.

In the federal case, Hanlon is accused of failing to file returns for income he earned in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

But the court records do not specify how he earned the income that he allegedly did not report and pay taxes on.

The feds revealed their case against Hanlon through what is known as “criminal information,” rather than a grand-jury indictment. Being charged via criminal information typically indicates that the defendant intends to plead guilty.

Reached by phone this week, Hanlon declined to comment to WBEZ. He is being represented in the federal case by former federal prosecutor Dean Polales, according to court records.

A spokesman for federal prosecutors in Chicago also declined to comment on Hanlon’s case.

And a spokesman for Martinez said, “The Office has no comment in the matter involving Mr. Hanlon as it does not pertain to his duties when he was employed” by the court clerk.”

Hanlon graduated from law school at DePaul University in 1998 and was general counsel for former Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan before becoming a Springfield lobbyist for several years, records show.

Hanlon is now registered to practice law at his own office in Evergreen Park.

Dan Mihalopoulos is an investigative reporter on WBEZ’s Government & Politics Team.

The Latest
It’s part of a critical voter outreach plan in place since President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign as Biden combats Donald Trump and his army of online supporters.
Domestic violence with a gun is a leading cause of death for children, NPR’s Nina Totenberg reports. More than half of all mass shootings are perpetrated by people with a record of domestic violence.
Nearly a decade has passed since an Illinois politician as significant as Burke faced sentencing at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. The need to send a message to others is sure to be on the judge’s mind when she makes her decision.
Two measures to further protect transgender people are awaiting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature. But advocates say the state can do more to help the LGBTQ+ community, including a push to require school districts to teach sex education.
County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is also trying to figure out which pandemic-funded programs to keep as the county spends down federal dollars.