Foxx on hiring of outside lawyers by top aide: 'We're going to look at it from soups to nuts'
Cook County state's attorney Kim Foxx spoke publicly for the first time Monday about the resignation of one of her top aides following a FOX 32 investigation.
Foxx is bringing in former U.S. attorney Zachary Fardon to find out just what went wrong.
Foxx revealed that Fardon's probe will look back beyond her first year in office.
“We're going to look at it from soups to nuts. How do we pick outside counsel? What are the practices and protocols for choosing outside counsel?” she said.
State's attorney Kim Foxx is promising a "Soups to Nuts" investigation after a Fox 32 investigation into the hiring of outside lawyers by Chaka Patterson. He supervised the county’s civil litigation and resigned on the day we revealed that he apparently steered almost half a million dollars in legal work to the law firm where he previously worked. The firm was paid up to $500 an hour, about three times the standard fee.
FOX 32: How could a half a million dollars going to his old law firm slip under the radar for so long?
“Listen, we are bringing in a private law firm to look at our policies and practices, not just for my tenure but the time before that, so that we can address how that happened and that it doesn't happen moving forward,” Foxx said.
Foxx spoke to reporters after city club luncheon, also attended by county board president Toni Preckwinkle.
FOX 32: How did this sneak under the radar?
“I think it was an issue that was brought to the state's attorney's attention and there was an internal investigation and a decision was reached to ask for Mr. Patterson's resignation,” Preckwinkle said.
The state's attorney has brought in former U.S Attorney Zachary Fardon to examine outside lawyers hired not only by Foxx, but by her predecessors. She says outside lawyers were needed because the civil division has been cut in recent years.
“For us to be the lawyer for the second largest county in the country, and have caseloads that were almost two times the amount the city corporation counsel was doing, we didn't believe that it was in the best interest of our work and our fiduciary duty to have that caseload,” Foxx said.
Foxx says the investigation by Zachary Fardon is starting this week and there's no timetable for when it will wrap up. It's being done at no cost to taxpayers and the report will be made public.
When Patterson resigned, the state's attorney said that he had referred significant business to his former law firm at a billing rate far above the standard county rate.