March , 2019

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A Cook County Circuit Court employee, a Metra ticket agent, a medical examiner autopsy technician, a county forest preserve employee and an IDOT truck driver are the latest government employees to be swept up in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s ongoing crackdown on public corruption, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced.

The employees all face varying charges of fraud and theft following ongoing investigations by the State’s Attorney’s Financial Crimes Unit.  The cases are the latest defendants in Operation “Cookie Jar,”a continuing crackdown on corruption at the local level.  Over the last two years “Cookie Jar” prosecutions have led to the return of millions of dollars in stolen taxpayer funds as well as lengthy prison terms for several of the defendants.

“No public employee has the right to steal or take advantage of their position and we will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute these cases,” Alvarez said.  “Cook County taxpayers are tired of subsidizing corruption and we will continue to give these cases the high priority they deserve.”

The defendants charged are:

  • Gregory Gill, 46, of Chicago, a former employee of the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office in Bridgeview.

Gill is charged with felony theft and official misconduct. He is accused of stealing $3,500 in cash from individuals who went to the Bridgeview courthouse to make payments for their traffic tickets. Investigators became suspicious when several individuals attempting to renew their driver’s licenses were told they still had unpaid tickets.  Gill’s bond has been set at $10,000 and his next court date is set for October 24th.

  • Teron Carey, 36, of Chicago, a former ticket clerk for Metra.  Carey is charged with felony theft and official misconduct.  While he was on the job working as a ticket clerk, Carey is accused of stealing $2,500 in cash from a safe that had inadvertently been left open overnight.  Carey’s bond has been set at $10,000 and his next court date is October 24th.


  • Lucious Jefferson, 52, of Orland Park, a former employee of the Cook County Forest Preserve District. Jefferson is charged with theft of government property.  He is alleged to have stolen $4,000 worth of the Forest Preserve’s scrap metal and used a county owned truck to haul it to a junk yard.  Jefferson’s bond was set at $10,000 and his next court date is October 26th.


  • Kenneth Lazarro, 49, of Chicago, a former Highway Maintainer for IDOT. Lazarro is charged with Criminal Damage to Government Supported Property, Criminal Damage to Property. Disorderly Conduct and two counts of Official Misconduct.  He is accused of hitting several parked cars while plowing snow in his state owned vehicle. The defendant attempted to cover up the damage by filing a false police report claiming he was the victim of a hit and run driver.   Lazarro’s bond was set at $10,000 and his next court date is October 24th.


  • Joel Neason, 58, of Chicago, a former Autopsy Technician for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.  Neason is charged with workers compensation fraud.  He is accused of filing a false workman’s compensation claim alleging he had injured his back while helping a funeral director lift a body. When told he was the subject of an investigation, Neason threatened to “get his gun and shoot everybody.” For this incident, he was charged and convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.  Neason’s bond on the workers compensation case was set at $5,000 and he is due in court next on October 17th.

“Cookie Jar” investigations have now led to charges against 34 individuals, with 17 of those 34 pleading guilty.  These convictions have led to restitution payments totaling over $3 million in taxpayer funds as well as prison sentences ranging up to six years for several defendants.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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