Emanuel Won't Endorse In Clerk's Race

Mayor Rahm Emanuel will not make an endorsement in the Democratic primary between Ald. Ricardo Munoz and Dorothy Brown for Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Emanuel personally told Brown he’ll be staying neutral, Brown told Chicago magazine’s Carol Felsenthal.

“As for Rahm, I sat down with him,” Brown said. “He did tell me [on October 18] that he would not be endorsing in this race.”

In Brown’s interview, she discusses the challenges she encountered as an African-American accountant in the 1970s (“Accounting firms flew me all over the country, and then they didn’t want to hire me,” she says), and defends herself against some of Munoz’s attacks.

Jeans Day, in which employees paid $2 or $3 to wear jeans to work, “dates back to my predecessor Aurelia Pucinski. I actually stopped the program for three years, and people kept coming and saying [a colleague needed help from the fund], “can we do a Jeans Day?” It was a good program, but we had to stop it.”

Brown also defended herself against Munoz’s claim that her office is technologically outdated, pointing out that changes in the filing system must be approved by the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. She also talked about a plan to computerize courtrooms.

I visited William and Mary College, where the National Center for State Courts has its 21st-century courtroom, and I’ve be putting different pieces together over the years to help the chief judge actually have that kind of courtroom, where judges are ruling off of images off the computer, the attorneys have computers on their desks, all the jurors have some type of screen, and also witnesses that cannot get to the courtroom…. Anywhere in the world, you can have interactive video-conferencing where you can actually examine or cross-examine a witness without them having to [be in the room].

Felsenthal has also interviewed Munoz about his campaign for the clerk’s office.

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