It takes more time and money to go to court in Cook County because Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown keeps poor records, an appellate court judge who once held Brown's post said Wednesday.
Appellate Court Judge Aurelia Pucinski said "not a week goes by" when she doesn't hear complaints about the office from trial judges, lawyers, their clients and workers in her former office.
She leveled the accusations as she endorsed Ald. Ricardo Munoz, 22nd, Brown's opponent in the March 20 Democratic primary.
As a result of poorly kept files, people involved in court cases "are wasting a lot of time, and it's costing them money," Pucinski said.
"If that stuff is not available — those documents are not available in the right place at the right time — then no one can do their job right," Pucinski added. "Not the judges. Not the lawyers. And the litigants get screwed."
Brown campaign manager Peter Dagher responded by saying Brown inherited a "mess" from Pucinski, who did not seek reelection as court clerk in 2000, when Brown was first elected.
Pucinski "nearly ruined the . . . office in her 12 years of patronage, wild spending, poor customer service, party switching and gross mismanagement," the campaign said in a statement Dagher released.
Pucinski, however, said Brown has had more than a decade to remake the office. "She's been there 12 years," Pucinski said. "She owns it now."