Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today announced the appointment of Martha A. Martinez as Chief Administrative Officer and Lanetta Haynes Turner as Executive Director of the Justice Advisory Council. Both Martinez and Turner are well equipped for the tasks they are assuming, with years of relevant experience, Preckwinkle said.
“In filling these two positions, I wanted people who could step in and immediately deliver results,” Preckwinkle said. “County residents can be assured that both Martha and Lanetta are well prepared for their new tasks and are committed to pursuing our priorities of an efficient, effective government that responds to and meets the needs of our citizens.”
Martha A. Martinez has worked for Cook County in various capacities since 1986. She started as a training coordinator in the Human Resources Department, where she also served as disability affairs coordinator. In 1992, she moved to the Chief Administrative Office, becoming First Assistant to the Chief Administrative Officer in 1998. In 2008 she was appointed Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, also serving a stint as Acting Chief Administrative Officer from December 2012 to August 2013. In the latter role, she expanded the duties of the Bureau of Administration by creating a Records Management Division and oversaw the launch of the County’s Shared Fleet program.
Martinez, a Lincolnwood resident, is a graduate of Northern Illinois University. She is President Preckwinkle’s representative on the following boards: Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago, the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc. (CEDA), and the Cook County Local Records Commission, which she chairs.
The Chief Administrative Office, with a budget of approximately $56 million, coordinates the activities of and oversees a number of County departments and support functions including: Adoption and Child Custody Advocacy, Animal and Rabies Control, Child Support Compliance Enforcement, Environmental Control, Medical Examiner’s office, Transportation and Highways, Industrial Engineering, Law Library, Printing and Graphics Services, Salvage and Veterans Affairs, along with Fleet Management and Records Management.
Martinez has been serving as Acting Chief Administrative Officer since former CAO Carl Byrd left the County earlier this month to pursue other opportunities. Her appointment is subject to approval by the Cook County Board of Commissioners at the November Board Meeting.
Lanetta Haynes Turner, a Chicago resident, joins the Justice Advisory Council (JAC) after two years as the first executive director of Cook County Justice for Children, a nonprofit organization that advocates for systemic reforms within the Juvenile Court and Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC).
From 2007 to 2012, Turner was Executive Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cook County, which advocates on behalf of abused and neglected children in the foster care system. From 2005-2007 she was a staff attorney at Lifespan Center for Legal Services, representing indigent battered women in domestic matters before the courts, and from 2003-2005 was an Assistant Corporation Council for the City of Chicago. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and Loyola University School of Law. She has served as co-chair of the County’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center Advisory Board and on various juvenile justice-related organizations.
The JAC is charged with the coordination and implementation of President Preckwinkle’s criminal and juvenile justice reform efforts and public safety policy development. The specific goals of the JAC include working collaboratively with the County’s public safety stakeholders to reduce the populations of non-violent offenders in the County Jail and JTDC while preserving public safety, reducing recidivism, and promoting fair and equitable access to justice.
Turner is scheduled to begin with Justice Advisory Council in early November. Former Justice Advisory Council Executive Director Juliana Stratton left her position in early October.