Clerk Dorothy Brown responds to investigation reports

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CHICAGO (WLS) -- The central committee of Cook County's Democratic Party will vote Friday on whether to pull their endorsement of Cook County Clerk of Circuit Court Dorothy Brown amid published reports she is the target of an investigation.

In her first one-on-one interview since all this began, Brown said Wednesday afternoon she has been victimized by unsubstantiated rumors that she is the target of a corruption investigation.

"My house has not been raided and neither has my office been raided," Brown said.

But Dorothy Brown says that on October 6, on a sidewalk near her Chicago home, a federal agent did take her county-issued cellphone.

"I was approached by an FBI agent who indicated that he had a subpoena for my cellphone and I was shocked," Brown said. "I don't have any idea who the target of the investigation is. So that's really all I can really say to that."

Brown, who is running for a fifth term as circuit clerk, says she sends and receives personal as well as official e-mail on the phone in question.

"I'm okay with them seeing my personal as well as my official information. I'm OK with that," Brown said.

Brown's husband, a television producer, was investigated for his role in a state anti-violence program in 2010 and the couple's real estate dealings with a political donor has come under media scrutiny.

"These kinds of things happen to people in my type of position all the time," Brown said.

Brown does not understand why Cook County Democratic leaders would meet in executive session to consider whether they should withdraw the party's endorsement because of news reports that the FBI had seized her cellphone.

"We will put it to a vote of the entire committee whether we withdraw the endorsement of Dorothy Brown," said Joe Berrios, Cook County Democratic Chairman.

"I don't see how they could possibly know anything more. It appears as though they're operating off of unsubstantiated media reports," Brown said. "The important thing is to look at what the individual has done, look at those things that are factual and that's what I would suggest."

The Democratic leaders say if they withdraw the Brown endorsement, they'll reconsider other candidates.

"We will open the ballot up to hear from anyone," Berrios said.

Brown says the committee and all voters should consider record, and not rumors of investigations.

"The important thing is to look at what the individual has done, look at those things that are factual and that's what I would suggest," said Brown.

Brown said the subpoena was supposed to remain sealed and she does not know how it was leaked to at least one news organization last week.

Brown also said she has an idea what the investigation might be about, but she was not at liberty to talk about it.

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