Iris Martinez sworn in as first Latina Cook County circuit clerk

  • Judge Jesse G. Reyes swears in Iris Martinez on Tuesday as Cook County circuit court clerk. The former state lawmaker replaces Dorothy Brown, who didn't run for reelection.

    Judge Jesse G. Reyes swears in Iris Martinez on Tuesday as Cook County circuit court clerk. The former state lawmaker replaces Dorothy Brown, who didn't run for reelection. Courtesy of Jonathan Flores

  • Iris Y. Martinez

    Iris Y. Martinez

  • Iris Y. Martinez was sworn-in Tuesday as Cook County's clerk of the circuit court.

    Iris Y. Martinez was sworn-in Tuesday as Cook County's clerk of the circuit court. Courtesy of Jonathan Flores

 
 
Updated 12/1/2020 5:26 PM

Former state Sen. Iris Y. Martinez -- who made history last month as the first Latina elected clerk of the circuit court of Cook County -- was sworn in Tuesday at Chicago's Daley Center.

An 18-year veteran of Illinois General Assembly, the Chicago Democrat now helms the office responsible for maintaining the judicial records for one of the United States' largest unified court systems. She succeeds 20-year Democratic incumbent Dorothy Brown, who did not seek reelection.

 

This isn't the first time a Martinez election victory made history. She was the first Latina elected to the Illinois state Senate and the first Latina to serve as assistant majority leader. The past president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, Martinez also serves as chair of the Hispanic Caucus for the Democratic National Committee.

During the campaign, Martinez said she intends to restore residents' faith in the office, improve customer service and enhance transparency. She also vowed to remove "the dark cloud" hanging over the office, which under Brown was the subject of federal corruption investigations that resulted in the conviction of two former employees for lying to a grand jury about a pay-to-play scheme. Brown has not been charged.

Tammy Wendt, the Palos Heights Democrat who defeated Republican incumbent Dan Patlak in the race for 1st District commissioner for the Cook County Board of Review, will be sworn in Dec. 7, according to her representative.

Eira Corral Sepúlveda of Hanover Park will be sworn in as a commissioner on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago on Dec. 8, according to an MWRD representative.

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