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Cook County Public Defender Edwin A. Burnette in Chicago is suing Cook County Board of Commissioners President Todd H. Stroger over what Burnette’s office said was inappropriate county government reductions in his staff and resources. Burnette’s office said in a press release yesterday that the lawsuit was filed late Friday “to protect the rights of its clients, the job security of its employees and the independence of the office.” Attorney William Hooks, a Chicago attorney representing the public defender’s office, didn’t return calls seeking comment. Attorney Burt Odelson, a lawyer at Evergreen Park, Illinois-based Odelson & Sterk who is representing Stroger and members of Stroger’s staff named in the lawsuit, confirmed that it had been filed in state court and said he will seek to have the “absurd” lawsuit dismissed as soon as it is served on the office. If Burnette wanted increased appropriations, he should have come before the board to ask for that outlay, Odelson said.

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