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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Prosecutor to Focus on Corruption

Alvarez wins Cook County's top prosecutor job
The Chicago Daily Herald by Robert McCoppin

On a history-making election night, Anita Alvarez claimed victory as the first female and first Hispanic to be elected Cook County State's Attorney Tuesday, with unofficial early returns showing her trouncing Republican Tony Peraica. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Alvarez took 70 percent of the vote, compared to Peraica's 25 percent. Green Party party candidate and prosecutor Thomas O'Brien trailed with 5 percent. "The issues I talked about were issues that concerned voters, safety and gun violence," Alvarez said. "Being a woman and Hispanic I believe has enhanced my position... The majority of victims in Cook County are minority, and that's who I'm serving." Alvarez, 48, of River Forest, has spent her 22-year career prosecuting crimes, and had reached the third-highest rank in the office. She's run units that prosecute gang homicides, public corruption and financial crimes. Peraica blamed the "rout" in part on Barack Obama's decisive victory, saying, "The voters of Cook County were not willing to distinguish between individual candidates." Peraica had blasted the state's attorney's office for failing to prosecute police corruption and torture. He said he would continue serving on the Cook County Board

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