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:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

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



Judge blasts county on jail

Thursday, December 29, 2005
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman

A federal judge blasted Cook County leaders Wednesday for failing to work together to adequately staff Cook County Jail.

In a near repeat of a hearing last year, U.S. District Judge George Marovich warned Cook County Board President John Stroger and the county board that he would consider contempt proceedings against them if they didn't include more jail guards in the 2006 budget.

No new guards are included in the proposed budget.

"The fact that there is nothing in this budget, as proposed so far today, to meet those staffing needs, can only be described as mindboggling," Marovich said to Stroger and the six commissioners who attended the hearing. "Do you people ever talk to one another? ... There are some problems here, people, that need to be solved."

It would cost about $15 million to hire 250 guards, which is the number requested by Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan and generally seen as an accepted minimum. The judge did not state a figure in open court.

Stroger laid the blame for the lack of hires on board members who refused to back any tax increases. He said it would be up to finance committee chairman John Daley and the board to find the money for a solution.

"We didn't have the money (to add guards)," Stroger said. "I will do what is necessary, but if I don't have nine votes, I can't do anything."

Marovich oversees conditions at the jail under the settlement terms of a 1974 civil rights lawsuit filed by inmates.

Last year, he criticized Stroger and commissioners for not dealing honestly with the problem and failing to add enough staff. Under threat of contempt proceedings, the county board agreed to hire 283 guards despite a tight budget.

The county argued the 750 new guards that court-appointed jail monitors said were still needed was an inflated figure. The board commissioned a study of jail staffing, completed this month, which said between 668 and 798 new guards were needed.

Marovich said since the county's own experts agree on the number and since budget planner had a year to get ready, there was no excuse for not including more guards in the budget. He said the county could agree to hire a few hundred guards per year or he could order officials to hire all 750 at once.

"It's not like you have a lot of choices, and it doesn't really bother me if you don't like the choices," Marovich said.

Marovich said he was aware of the political problems of budgeting, but considered them "a non-factor."

When Stroger tried to explain to the judge that he couldn't get the tax increases he needed because of "hostility" from the board, Marovich cut him off in frustration.

"It's an election year, John!" the judge said.

Attorneys for the inmates pressed for a contempt hearing, but Marovich agreed to hold a telephone conference with all parties Feb. 21, so that county officials could have a chance to work through the budget process.

In comments to the judge, both Stroger and Sheahan pointedly complained "some commissioners" didn't attend the hearing and therefore didn't take the matter seriously. It was a criticism of Commissioner Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago), Stroger's opponent for county president.

Claypool said he has been to past hearings, wasn't asked to attend this one by the judge, and had a conflicting event. He said he will reintroduce a plan shot down last year that will move sworn deputies into the jail by taking them out of clerical jobs and hiring lower-paid clerical workers with less training.

"A lot of us have offered different solutions to solve this problem without a tax increase," Claypool said. "President Stroger doesn't want to do anything that upsets the status quo."

TRIBUNE:



Recent Headlines

U.S. appeals judges: Go fight over lawsuits with Dorothy Brown in state court
Sunday, November 13, 2918
Chicago Sun-Times

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle to unveil policy roadmap for Cook County for next five years
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

COMMENTARY: Here's how the Shakman case curbed Cook County patronage
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Appeals court backs Dorothy Brown in lawsuit over public access to electronic records, says judge overstepped authority
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What’s Next As Voters Overwhelmingly Support Higher Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Time
Monday, November 12, 2018
Journal and Topics Online

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security chief fired after review spurred by watchdog report
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

An earlier opening day: 2019 Cook County forest preserves permits go on sale Nov. 15
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County opening 2019 picnic permit sales Nov. 15
Monday, November 05, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

The Cook County Land Bank looks to go commercial
Monday, November 05, 2018
RE Journal

Nov. 15 is new opening date for Cook County forest preserves permits
Monday, November 05, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County Gun Dealer, Minimum Wage Referendums On Ballot
Monday, November 05, 2018
Patch

The Abandoned WWI Monument One Chicago Man Is Determined To Save
Friday, November 02, 2018
Chicago Patch

Cook County freed from federal oversight
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

First-of-its-kind trauma recovery center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
ABC 7

Northbrook opts in to Cook County paid sick leave ordinance, more uncertainty for employers, lawyer says
Monday, October 29, 2018
Cook County Record

First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
WLS Channel 7

Cook County sheriff, CVS team up on safe prescription painkiller disposal
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

HOPE Court, created to keep probationers out of prison, shut down amid problems
Friday, October 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Can Kaegi really reform the assessor's office?
Friday, October 26, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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