Brown ‘vindicated’ by report on ‘Jeans Day’ after examination finds no evidence of wrongdoing

The money -- $2 to $10 per employee for the privilege of wearing jeans to work -- went to charitable purposes, Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown said.

SHARE Brown ‘vindicated’ by report on ‘Jeans Day’ after examination finds no evidence of wrongdoing
Dorothy Brown. File photo

Dorothy Brown

Sun-Times file photo

Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown released a report Thursday she said “vindicates” her handling of the “Jeans Day” program in which her employees paid money to wear jeans.

The money -- $2 to $10 per employee for the privilege of wearing jeans to work -- went to charitable purposes, Brown said.

Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard wrote that “there is no way to verify the amount of funds collected by managers in the clerk’s office because there is not an internal control procedure in place to track the number of stickers given to managers.”

”The OIIG could not verify that the managers submitted all the money collected from employees.”

Blanchard found that the available documentation showed at least 93 percent of the funds went to charitable purposes. But some of the same accounts the funds were held in were also used to buy Bulls tickets, Great America tickets and for employee parking expenses.

That creates the possibility of commingling funds, Blanchard wrote.

But an examination of the records found no wrongdoing, the report said.

”The evidence reviewed failed to support the existence of fraud, embezzlement, theft, or misuse of funds in relation to theJeans Day collections process,” according to the report. “The evidence however did reveal an internal control weakness in theJeans Day Collection process.”

Brown initially balked at releasing the report, calling it confidential and only read the portions of the report most favorable to her office. But an hour after her news conference Thursday, she relented and passed out copies of the report.

”This report vindicates our efforts and the investigation fully supports what we knew and have been saying all along,” Brown said at her news conference.

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