For years, employees of Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown have complained about having to pay a couple bucks to wear jeans on Fridays.Brown, who's seeking a promotion to County Board president, recently told the Tribune that all the money collected either goes to charities or into a fund that pays for an annual employee appreciation awards ceremony.
Brown has raised tens of thousands of dollars from employees for her Friends of Dorothy Brown campaign fund.
In addition, many top-level employees have helped organize annual birthday parties that double as fundraisers. Brown has accepted cash gifts and other presents from employees at those birthday parties and on Christmas — a practice she halted after the Tribune asked her about it.
[...] Such practices were the province of old-school politicians. During his federal corruption trial, testimony showed former Gov. George Ryan got thousands of dollars from employees for years as Christmas gifts. City Hall workers also were asked to voluntarily contribute to annual gifts for Mayor Richard Daley, the Tribune reported in December 2006.