Spyropoulos for Cook circuit court clerk

Iris Y. Martinez

The race for Cook County Circuit Court Clerk in the March 19 Democratic primary is about integrity, transparency and modernization of the office that oversees the county’s enormous court system and ensures that judges, attorneys and the public get access to the paperwork it produces.

Democrat Iris Martinez, the incumbent, took over for Dorothy Brown and her scandal-plagued administration four years ago on a promise of building integrity in the office and modernizing it. She’s made some strides in modernizing the office, especially with digitizing millions of tens of millions of court records, but she’s not convinced us on the integrity issue.

The Chicago Tribune has reported that Martinez’s staff are the people providing much of her campaign’s financial support. While Martinez says it’s on the up and up, we’ve seen too many cases in Illinois politics in which it’s pressure — real or imagined — that prompts an employee to support his or her boss at election time. Martinez has not enjoyed party financial support, but this is simply not a good look, especially in the wake of similar behavior by her predecessor.

Her opponent is Mariyana Spyropoulos, a former longtime Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner and president who has a law degree.

Spyropoulos’s campaign is largely self-funded.

She said she intends to do an audit of the office to ensure everyone is working efficiently and in the right places. She also wants to hold regular ethics training of employees and make what the office does more transparent.

There is more work to be done to restore voters’ faith in the circuit clerk’s office and more to be done to ensure it’s run efficiently and answerable to the public.

Spyropoulos is endorsed.

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