Monday, June 30, 2014

Dem Watch: How About That Benton Cook III?!?

Photo via the Sun-Times

Let's call it his third bit of bad luck, shall we?

First,  Benton Cook III - the husband of Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown - got wrapped up in Governor Pat Quinn's Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.  You remember that crooked program, right?
Cook became a lightning rod for criticism of Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative following Chicago Sun-Times reports that he was hired to help supervise $2.1 million in anti-violence grants despite having a felony conviction for writing bad checks. Cook didn’t work directly for the state, but for a not-for-profit group that paid him $146,401 in salary and benefits over 22 months out of the state anti-violence funds.
His second bit of bad luck? Benton Cook III has been telling tall tales about his credentials:
Separately, state regulators filed a complaint against Cook last month accusing him of misrepresenting himself as a licensed clinical psychotherapist and offering psychotherapy services on a website. Cook is fighting that complaint, saying he never offered such services. 
On his resume, “Benton Cook III PH.D” says he did “doctoral studies in clinical psychology” at the Jacksonville Theological Seminary and was a “professor of psychology” there between May 1999 and May 2004. He also says he has a “masters of humanities in psychological counseling” and a bachelor’s degree in “religion and biblical studies” from Aspen Theological Seminary.
And now?  His third bit of bad luck?  He's been on the dime of his wife's campaign for years:
Before he was paid more than $146,000 for work on Gov. Pat Quinn’s scandal-plagued anti-violence initiative, Benton Cook III says he spent four years as a “media production director” for political candidates. 
His biggest client, as it turns out, was his wife, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, records show. 
Brown’s campaign fund paid the video production company based at her husband’s then-South Side home nearly $90,000 over a four-year period ending in 2010, according to Illinois State Board of Elections records. The business, Gideon Video Productions, doesn’t appear to have been licensed with the state of Illinois, the city of Chicago or Cook County.
Just a string of bad luck, right?  Those pesky reporters from the Chicago Sun-Times should stop digging around on him.  

Same as it ever was.
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