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Boreal Community Media

Public being surveyed on upcoming court case

Oct 31, 2017 03:43PM ● By Editor
By Joe Friedrichs from WTIP Radio News - Tue. October 21, 2017

If you’re a Cook County resident and were contacted recently about former Cook County Health and Human Services Director Josh Beck and his pending court case on criminal charges of child abuse, WTIP has some information about the call.
The call is placed by the Duluth-based Zenith Research Group. The company conducts a variety of research or gathers data at the request of clients, occasionally law firms, who hire the company to conduct surveys.
The calls to Cook County residents come from the Duluth office of the Zenith Research Group. The survey operators ask questions specific to Josh Beck and his criminal charges. The operator also asks if you listen to WTIP regularly, read the Cook County News-Herald regularly and how often you follow local news stories. They also ask if you know Josh Beck personally.
Although the phone survey asks people if they listen to WTIP, WTIP Community Radio has no involvement with this survey.
WTIP contacted Duke Skorich, the president of the Zenith Research Group, for comment. Skorich said he was hired to conduct research about a “Cook County issue.” He declined to comment further, including who hired his company to conduct the survey and who drafted the questions in the survey.
WTIP also contacted Tyson Smith at the Grand Marais-based Smith Law PLLC for information about the phone surveys. Smith is representing Beck in the ongoing court case. Smith said as Beck’s attorney in an active case he could not comment on any issue regarding Beck at this time.
Though it happens infrequently in comparison to the overall number of cases that move through a courtroom in any given county, it is not entirely uncommon in Minnesota for attorneys to request a change of venue in cases where they feel it will be difficult to find unbiased jurors due to statements by public officials and media attention to a case.
Beck’s next court date for the criminal charges of child abuse, which is an omnibus hearing, is Monday, Nov. 13. 
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