New Burr Oak Trustee Could Be Appointed Next Week

Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan filed emergency motion Thursday morning

By BJ Lutz
|  Thursday, Sep 17, 2009  |  Updated 4:53 PM CDT
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New Burr Oak Trustee Could Be Appointed Next Week

Family members search for the graves of relatives at Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Ill., Thursday, July 9, 2009, after graves were discovered dug up Wednesday and bodies dumped into unmarked mass graves in an alleged scheme to resell the plots to unsuspecting members of the public. Three men and a woman are facing felony charges after police found what they called "startling and revolting" conditions at the historic cemetery in the south Chicago suburb. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

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Legal wrangling has begun over control of Alsip's historic Burr Oak Cemetery, but it'll be early next week before a new trustee is appointed, if one is at all. 

The previous court-appointed receiver handed the keys back over to Perpetua Inc., the cemetery's owner, on Wednesday, as required by law following the company's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan filed an emergency motion Thursday morning requesting that a new trustee be appointed, saying the management has been marked by fraud, dishonesty and incompetence. 

Negotiations between state attorneys and lawyers for the management of the cemetery failed to produce an agreement on the proposal, and the judge scheduled a new meeting for next Tuesday.

Immediately after the transfer of power Wednesday, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said his office was looking into legal options to prevent Perpetua from retaining ownership. State Comptroller Dan Hynes said he is taking legal steps to try and lift the cemetery's license.

The cemetery has been closed since revelations earlier this summer that hundreds of graves were dug up so the burial plots could be resold.

Four former cemetery employees have been charged. Keith Nicks, 45, and Terrence Nicks, 39, both of Chicago, posted bail Tuesday and were released from jail. Maurice Dailey, 59, of Robbins, previously posted bail. Carolyn Towns remains in custody. All four have pleaded not guilty.

Full Coverage:  Desecration at Burr Oak Cemetery

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