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Suburban woman left without one document for foreign citizenship application, Cook County says broken forklift is to blame

Woman left without doc for foreign citizenship application, Cook County says broken forklift to blam
Woman left without doc for foreign citizenship application, Cook County says broken forklift to blam 02:27

MAYWOOD, Ill. (CBS) -- Cutting through bureaucratic red tape can be frustrating – but red tape is not the reason for one west suburban woman's frustration.

She says a Cook County forklift, of all things, is to blame.

Jennifer Flodin has almost everything she needs to apply for Italian citizenship for herself and her two kids.

"This process has actually been ongoing for about a year," Flodin told CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov on Wednesday.

Flodin's grandparents are from Italy. Dual citizenship would make it easier for her family to travel to the country they love and frequently visit.

The required document list is long. But in March, Flodin ordered and paid for the copies of those documents through the Cook County Clerk's office.

She was told it would take a few weeks. She got most of the documents – for a payment total of $23 based on the number of copies she requested.

But Flodin was still without one document – her 2004 marriage application.

"I didn't quite understand why I had my grandparents' marriage application from 1908; my parents' application – but yet, where was mine?" she said.

Weeks and months went by, and there was still no document.

Frustrated, and maybe a bit fed up, Flodin went to the Cook County Vital Records Office in west suburban Maywood to try to get some answers. She said a worker there called the Chicago office to ask about the holdup.

"So I stood there as the manager in Maywood called. I heard one side of the conversation - things like: 'That's terrible! You're kidding me! What are we going to do?'"

Flodin said the manager hung up and told her could not get her records from the county warehouse. The reason was the warehouse forklift was broken.

Her reaction was, "You're kidding."

"But he wasn't kidding," Flodin said.

The manager also told Flodin there was no timetable to fix the forklift, because all employees are busy with the upcoming election.

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous," Flodin said.

A Cook County Clerk's office spokeswoman said she is looking into the forklift issue and the three-month holdup – which has left Flodin hanging.

"I've paid for the copies. We pay our taxes. This is the process, and I follow the process. So why can't the pay up their end of the bargain?" Flodin said. "Fix the forklift."

The Cook County spokesperson said they're conducting an emergency search for Flodin's document, but can't find any information about the broken forklift.

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