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Court clerk’s office did its job in support of the Cook County animal abuser registry

The clerk’s office is the keeper of the records. It does not enforce laws or ordinances.

Dorothy Brown.
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

I am an animal lover and I believe anyone who abuses an animal should be punished for that crime. Over the past few days, there have been some news reports and a letter to the editor that have demonstrated gross misunderstandings of the directives of the Cook County Animal Abuser Registry Ordinance.

The letter to the editor indicated that it is the duty of the clerk of the circuit court of Cook County to enforce the ordinance, which is inaccurate and shows a lack of understanding of the duties of the clerk’s office. The clerk’s office is the keeper of the records; it does not enforce laws or ordinances.

The ordinance requires that individuals convicted of animal abuse crimes register with the Cook County Animal Abuser Registry in person with the sheriff within five days of their release from incarceration.

The ordinance also requires the clerk’s office to “send notice of the conviction and the individual’s name, address, date of birth and offense for which he or she has been convicted to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, thereby notifying the sheriff’s office that the person is required to register…”

The clerk’s office has now codified a report for the sheriff. However, our normal, daily operating procedures already provided records of this information to the sheriff’s office.

The ordinance further states that “the Cook County Sheriff is hereby authorized and empowered to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement the Animal Abuser Registry.”

Accordingly, it is the sheriff’s duty to enforce the ordinance. These are statements of fact, and by relaying them no one is hiding or placing blame.

Under my leadership, the clerk’s office always stands ready to coordinate with other agencies to ensure the proper implementation of laws and ordinances that protect our citizens as well as vulnerable animals and pets.

Therefore, the clerk’s office is ready and eager to participate in the coordination of any rules and regulations that the sheriff’s office deems necessary to facilitate the effective implementation of the Cook County Animal Abuser Registry.

It is vitally important that animal abuse offenders are held accountable for their actions, and the clerk’s office will continue to do its part to bring an end to these tragic crimes.

Dorothy Brown
Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County

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In the last three years, we have sacrificed our clean air, put our fresh water in jeopardy and watched as our national treasures and wild animals have been down-sized. We have witnessed our country’s cruelty. We have seen our children’s fear of going to school because we have allowed mad men to run around with machine guns.

We have been shown that the sanctity of our vote is threatened. We have made friends of our enemies and enemies of our friends. We have knowingly absorbed treacheries and lies from our leaders on a daily basis.

And there is hardly a whimper, let along a bang. What has happened to us?

What has become of our hearts and minds, our spine?

Leonard Hall, LaGrange Highlands