Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown is joining the increasingly crowded field of candidates looking to unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the 2019 election.
But unlike the other candidates, Brown is reportedly facing a federal investigation into allegations that she accepted bribes in exchange for jobs in her office. Brown has not been charged with any wrongdoing and has denied the allegations.
Brown, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor against incumbent Richard M. Daley in 2007, talked to Morning Shift host Jenn White about why she is running for mayor and the federal probe into her office.
Here are some interview highlights.
Jenn White: Why should voters trust someone under a federal investigation?
Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown: You know, I respect law enforcement and I know that whenever someone comes and complains, whether it’s a true allegation of false, they have to do their job. Of course, the allegations against me are false.
So I cannot let that hinder me from making the difference I know that I can make for the citizens of Chicago. I have a great track record. My credentials speak for themselves. I am a proven leader and, of course, a proven go-getter. People already trust me and have re-elected me to my office four times. (Editor’s note: She was elected five times: in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016, according to the Illinois Board of Elections.)
White: In a court filing, one of your employees said that $10,000 was the “going rate” to buy a job in the circuit clerk’s office. This is someone within your office. What’s your response to that?
Brown: You know, I saw that, that they said that’s why they started the investigation, because someone came there and said that either a former or current employee said that that was something they heard — or something like that.
Well, I think that since they’ve been doing that investigation, they’ve found that to be a lie.
White: But the investigation continues, however.
Brown: If that was the case, then that would have been well known and you should be able to have several witnesses. It would not take four years or five years to nail something like that down. That’s really, really serious — it’s a serious allegation. I was very concerned about it, and I think that person should be charged with perjury.
White: But the investigation does continue. It hasn’t ended.
Brown: The investigation continues. But the individuals that they talked to, they actually gave them immunity and they said that was not true. So I don’t know why it continues, but I respect the law enforcement and they should do whatever they feel they need to do.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Click the “play” button to listen to the entire interview.