Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



Sheahan hung tough on bumpy ride

Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times

For years Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan has had a sideline job, working as a Big Ten football official every fall. A former supervisor said Sheahan is admired as a referee because he is decisive but modest, calling no undue attention to himself on the playing field. The same could be said for his time as Cook County sheriff. Sheahan has worked hard over the last 15 years to clean up an office mired by corruption and scandal.

It was a surprise to many that Sheahan decided to leave his job at this time. The Cook County sheriff has always been considered a plum job for a local politician, offering a decent salary, oversight of thousands of employees and management of a multimillion-dollar budget. It had been expected Sheahan would sit in the sheriff's seat for many years to come.

But the sheriff's job is also one of the most politically sensitive county jobs: Overseeing a crowded jail that is grossly understaffed, policing unincorporated areas and being responsible for the security in county court buildings. When Sheahan first won election as sheriff in 1990, he assumed the reins of an office that had fallen into ill repute. Sheahan's two immediate predecessors, Richard Elrod and James O'Grady, had been less than scrupulous guardians of the public good.

When O'Grady took over from Elrod in 1986, he had promised to end the moral corrosion that had colored Elrod's tenure. But his administration was even more besmirched by scandal. Two top aides were convicted of bribery. The director of personnel received kickbacks and other favors for hiring unqualified deputies. O'Grady lasted only four years in office before a disgusted public turfed him out in favor of Sheahan.

Sheahan had some early successes in office, trying to relieve overcrowding in the jail, creating a boot camp for young offenders, setting up a task force to fight child sexual abuse, expanding emergency 911 service to unincorporated areas of the county and trying to cleanse his department of the corruption left behind by O'Grady's administration by firing ghost payrollers and ending a much criticized part-time deputy program.

But his office had a number of setbacks: the strip-searching of women who had been cleared of criminal charges and were leaving the jail; the failure to respond decisively when five of his officers illegally chased an African-American couple who had attended a Sheahan fund-raiser, and allegedly covering up the beating of 49 inmates by jail guards. But Sheahan's department was working under extreme conditions: The jail was dangerously overcrowded, with a higher inmate-to-officer ratio than any other big city jail in the United States, and there were severe budget constraints.

In the end, Sheahan is to be more congratulated than criticized for his record of achievement in the sheriff's job.



Recent Headlines

Illinois Medical District to get largest ambulance garage in Cook County
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County sweetened beverage sales continue to decline
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

New bond court rules take effect, but not much of an effect
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Bond court gets underway in Cook County with different judges, new guidelines
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Harwood Heights adds retail theft as ordinance violation
Monday, September 18, 2017

Cook County’s Homeland Security interim chief resigns
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County's social worker for the dead helps the unclaimed find final resting places
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

After legal challenges, Cook County's court for unwed parents quietly goes away
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Welcome to Cook County, Mayor Bloomberg. You're getting played on the soda tax.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Evans reshuffles bond court; meet the ‘Pretrial Division’
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: The Cook County Board's legacy: Killing Cook County jobs
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

If the soda tax were out of sight, would it be out of mind?
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board delays showdown over soda tax until October 10, and other Chicago news
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Chicago Reader

City reports record number of Chicagoans with health insurance
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Morning Spin: 10 key numbers in Cook County soda tax repeal debate
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Four weeks to kill the soda tax
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

CPS inspector: High school at Cook County Jail phonied up attendance
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

CPS Watchdog: School In Cook County Jail Falsified Attendance, Credit Rates
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Morning Spin: 10 key numbers in Cook County soda tax repeal debate
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: What’s to be done when a dead man gets class credit?
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP