Thursday, August 12, 2010

Legal Opinion From Cook County Attorney Slaps Stroger Red Light Threat

The Daily Herald has obtained a letter from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office to the Cook County Board which states that Cook County cannot just turn over maintenance and control over intersections in which towns opt out of the county red light cameras.  The county has announced that they plan on installing 30 red light cameras at intersections controlled by Cook County throughout the suburbs.  Many of these suburbs do not want red light cameras in their communities.  One such suburb is Schaumburg, which has already tried red light cameras only to remove them and decide not to install any more red light cameras in the future.  In response to outcries from towns like Schaumburg, the Cook County Board voted to allow towns to "opt out" of the red light camera program.  Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno, and Board President John Stroger started threatening towns that if they opted out of the red light camera program they would in effect be claiming jurisdiction over the intersection and would be officially required to oversee it.  This would cause severe economic hardship to most of these towns that are already having a hard time dealing with declining revenues.  Moreno was claiming that he had a legal opinion from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office giving Cook County a legal basis for making this threat.  The Cook County State's Attorney's Office refused to discuss the matter claiming attorney-client privilege.  This morning, the Daily Herald disclosed that they had obtained the letter from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office which refutes Moreno's claim that there is a legal basis for this threat.  The legal opinion states that Cook County must enter into a written agreement with the town before maintenance and control of the intersection is turned over to the town.

Both Moreno and Stroger are lame ducks.  Both were defeated in their primary elections earlier this year.

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