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Cook County State's Attorney Takes On Critics In McDonald Case

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez on Thursday blasted her critics who are demanding that she resign over her handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting case.

"I have an election coming up, and the people of Cook County will speak, because you know what, I'd rather lose an election than compromise the integrity of an investigation," she told reporters on Thursday.

Some heated words from Alvarez, who is facing strong criticism from politicians and the public who question why it took 13 months to indict Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke for murder. A dash cam video released last week shows the officer shooting McDonald 16 times.

Cook County commissioners John Fritchey and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia also want her to appear before the Cook County Board's Criminal Justice Committee. They want Alvarez to answer questions about the investigation into the death of McDonald.

"We will continue to be the subject of speculation and ridicule unless some bold steps are taken to re-establish the public trust," Garcia said.

That brought this retort from Alvarez:

"The people who are calling for my resignation, are politicians. Seasoned politicians, all with political agendas and all who had some kind of connection to the person who's running an opponent against me.

"Commissioner Fritchey is one of the most self-serving people I have ever met. If you remember, he was going to run against me. How long did that last? About a week."

And Fritchey's reply:

"The reason I even considered running was because I had questions about her leadership and morale in that office.

"We're already known as the murder capital. We don't need to be known as the cover-up capital as well."

Alvarez also took on her critics who contend that she was somehow delaying or denying justice in this case.

"Let me call on the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and say, 'Zach [Fardon], come on! Be a co-conspirator with me because I plan on covering this up.' That is just absurd. I am a professional prosecutor. I am going to do my job."

Alvarez says she has no intention of resigning. Fritchey says asking Alvarez to answer questions in the interest of transparency and accountability.

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