Blame It on the Blue Jeans

By Franci Feirstein
|  Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010  |  Updated 11:00 PM CDT
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Do These Jeans Make Me Look Malfeasant?

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Dorothy Brown

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Dorothy Praises Employees for Jean Days Participation.

Dorothy tells purpose of Jean Days and explains contributions.

Do These Jeans Make Me Look Malfeasant?

Dorothy Brown's political opponents react to her imposition of a jeans tax on employees -- the proceeds of which haven't been accounted for.
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Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown is blaming Fox News Reporter Dane Placko and his story on her so-called "jeans tax" for her loss in Tuesday's primary election. She calls it "character assassination."

Other local media outlets quickly picked up on the story.

"(It was) a tremendous blow to our campaign," she told supporters Tuesday night.

Brown required employees who wore jeans to work to pay a $2 or $3 dollar fee. Her staff was forced to acknowledge there was no comprehensive accounting of the cash contributions that total tens of thousands of dollars every year.

Critic called the move an unethical fundraising scheme.

Brown did provide documents of last year's spending. Nearly $23,000 was spent on an annual appreciation dinner, an annual picnic, raffle tickets and prizes and staff game supplies. About $11,000 was donated to charity.

It wasn't the first time Brown's ethics have been called into question. She's been criticized for asking employees to raise money for her campaigns, and contribute gifts.

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