A top Cook County deputy state’s attorney resigned last week after an internal review uncovered he was referring business to his former law firm at higher rates than normally charged by the county.
Civil Actions Bureau Chief Chaka Patterson was in office for less than a year, according to a Chicago Tribune report, after leaving his position as partner at the Chicago office of Jones Day, a multinational law firm.
County records showed that in June, Jones Day handled two cases, charging the county $460,000 for two cases, the Chicago-Sun Times reported. The hourly rate for the county is $185 per hour, yet Jones Day billed Cook County hourly rates of $95 to $500.
Fox 32 News reported that after making inquiries six weeks ago regarding outside counsel, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx responded with a statement that her own investigation showed Patterson had directed a substantial amount of business to Jones Day along with documentation outlining the hourly amounts billed to the office.
An outside law firm will be reviewing Foxx’s use of outside counsel at no cost to the county.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Patterson was a prolific fundraiser for former President Barack Obama and a Harvard-educated attorney.
A Chicago Tribune report said Patterson headed up the Civil Actions Bureau shortly after Foxx’s 2016 election. The position allowed him to refer cases to outside counsel when conflicts arose for the office, such as a lawsuit against a judge.