Blame It on the Blue Jeans

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    Dorothy Brown

    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.

    Dorothy Praises Employees for Jean Days Participation.

    [CHI] Dorothy Praises Employees for Jean Days Participation.
    Dorothy tells purpose of Jean Days and explains contributions.

    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.