Monday, July 9, 2012

Cook County Morgue Scandal: Follow the Money

Finding a Chicago Ward or Township committeeman of either party with a common sense solution to a public policy matter is about as rare as a Wrigley Field game date in October.
Homewood Memorial Gardens gets $1,600
 from the State for each indigent burial
But Niles Township Republican Committeeman, Joe Hedrick, is one of those very rare political operatives who actually embraces ideals and actually has ideas.

In the wake of the recent spate of scandals surrounding unburied indigent corpses at the Cook County Morgue, Hedrick penned the following letter which the Chicago Tribune, duly printed:

I find it hard to understand with all the scandals in connection with the burials by the Cook County government why there are burials. It would be cost-effective and eliminate many of the current problems to do cremations of these individuals.

I think we are well past the time when cremations were unacceptable.

— Joseph Hedrick, Morton Grove

Why this patently obvious common sense solution did not occur to the vaunted Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinckle or any of the members of the Cook County Board defies comprehension.

Or does it?

Homewood Memorial Gardens in unincorporated Cook County holds a long-standing contract with the state whereby it is paid $1,600 for each public burial it performs.

It is owned by the politically connected Thomas Flynn family.

But cremation costs as little as $555.

The Flynns do not operate a crematorium.

As with everything in Chicago, if you really want to figure out what is going on, follow the money.

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Comments invited, however anonymous commentors had better deal directly with the issues raised and avoid ad hominem drivel. As for Teachers' Union seminar writers -- forget about it.