Cook County State’s Attorney Grants Power to Cicero’s New Pilot Program

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsTown President Larry Dominick and the Town of Cicero Board Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, which will allow Cicero to file civil lawsuits against gangs and gang members who engage in criminal activities in the community under a new pilot program.

The first of its kind in Cook County, the agreement allows Cicero to recover damages for losses and other harm caused by street gangs and their members and to go after their assets. The State’s Attorney’s Office will designate a Cicero town attorney with the authority to bring civil actions against gang members as authorized under the Illinois Street Gang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act, a civil state statute.

“This agreement will add muscle to our on-going campaign to confront street gangs and their members, to hold them responsible for their actions and to play a direct role in bringing civil litigation against these street gang criminals,” said Town President Larry Dominick. “We are grateful to Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski for working with us so that we might join in the broader fight against Streets Gangs and street gang members.”

Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski said that the initiative is an example of the County Board reaching out and working more closely on issues with communities in the Chicago Suburbs. “This is an example of the new initiative of the Cook County Board which is working together for the benefit of its citizens and especially to place a priority on the news of the county’s suburban communities which have been overlooked in the past,” Tobolski said.

Under the MOU, the Town of Cicero’s designated attorney must notify the Cook County State’s Attorney of the town’s intention to pursue civil litigation against a street gang or street gang member. The State’s Attorney’s Office will review the request and then make a determination if the town may pursue with civil action such as injunctive relief, damages, costs and fees.

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