DOLTON, Ill. - Just months after stepping down as Cook County Circuit Court Clerk, Dorothy Brown has landed back on the public payroll.
But her new six-figure job in south suburban Dolton is causing concern for some elected officials in that village.
"I think the influence of Dorothy Brown hasn’t been the greatest influence on the mayor," said Dolton Trustee Edward Steave. "And the direction that they’re going we just completely disagree with. And we have to do something."
Now, a new federal corruption scandal in Brown’s old office is prompting some Trustees to call for Brown’s departure.
Brown served as host at last May’s swearing in ceremony for Tiffany Henyard, the first female Mayor of Dolton, who calls Brown her Godmother and mentor.
Last year, Brown stepped down after a tumultuous 20 years as the elected official in charge of the country‘s largest court system.
But her long tenure was marked by a series of scandals and federal investigations.
While several of her employees have been convicted of various crimes, Brown has never been charged.
In December, Brown began collecting her County pension of nearly $90,000 a year.
But now, Brown is back on the public payroll, thanks to Dolton’s new mayor.
On Thursday, four of Dolton’s six trustees gathered outside village hall to raise concerns about Brown’s appointment as Dolton Village Administrator, a job that carries a $100,000 a year salary.
"We believe that Dorothy Brown‘s control over administrative affairs, and her influence on the mayor has not been in the best interest of the village," said Dolton Trustee Tammy Brown.
The trustees said they approved Brown‘s hiring last May with assurances from Mayor Henyard that it was a transitional position that would end in the middle of November.
But now, they’re wondering whether the job is Brown’s to keep.
"We are five months into this administration, the position still has not been posted, no applications have been taken," said Dolton Trustee Jason House. "I feel like I’ve been lied to about the transition of Dorothy Brown."
The trustees said Brown and the Mayor have made numerous hires without their input. And when they ask Brown for information, "(Brown) stated this is the mayor. She makes the decisions," said Dolton Trustee Brittney Norwood. "And you all need to follow her lead and do what’s asked of you and not ask any questions."
Trustees said they’re also alarmed by news this week that a Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty in federal court to corruptly providing benefits to Dorothy Brown.
The federal indictment said businessman Donald Donagher Jr, admits he paid some of the expenses for a 2014 Dorothy Brown awards event in return for his belief that he’d continue to get contracts from Brown’s office.
Donagher has also agreed to cooperate in the ongoing federal investigation.
"I just don’t want her personal life to affect Dolton and bring a cloud over Dolton," said Trustee Brown.
Fox 32 went into village hall to try to talk to the Mayor, but were told she wasn’t there. So we went to her home where we were met by two Dolton police officers blocking the way.
While we never talked to the Mayor or Dorothy Brown, a village Spokesperson later told us Brown will be leaving her position at the end of six months.
"I had a conversation with the mayor this morning and as the mayor stated, she does support Ms. Brown, she’s done amazing work in the village," said Dolton Spokesperson Nikita McGraw.
But Trustees say it’s time for one of Cook County’s most controversial politicians to say goodbye.
They plan to raise their concerns during an online Village Board meeting next week.