Federal jury convicts former aide to Cook County Court clerk

A former worker in the Cook County Circuit Court clerk's office has been convicted for lying under oath about an alleged bribes-for-jobs scheme in the office.

Beena Patel, a former associate clerk, was found guilty Friday by a federal jury on three counts of perjury.

Prosecutors alleged Patel lied when she told a grand jury investigating Clerk Dorothy Brown's office that she had never sold tickets to Brown's fundraisers. No charges have been filed against Brown. The 57-year-old Patel also said she didn't know whether a colleague targeted in the investigation had spoken to law enforcement.

In her closing argument, Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather McShain said Patel's lies were a deliberate attempt to obstruct the grand jury inquiry and protect her boss.

Defense attorney Walter Jones Jr. argued prosecutors "botched" the investigation and needed a scapegoat.