Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Jail guards blame bosses

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter

Breaking their silence, four suspended Cook County Jail guards say they knew nothing of a plan for six inmates to escape and deny they played any role in it.
Instead, they say a supervisor -- tipped to the escape plan by Chicago Police -- failed to authorize a shakedown of inmate cells or even follow up with the guards about what to do about the tip.

At least one of the suspended guards claims a captain told him an inmate could have a knife, but never said anything about an escape attempt. The guard says he waited the rest of his shift for orders to come for a shakedown of cells, but the order never came.

"He's not allowed to go in and shake down a cell without a supervisor's permission," said attorney Christopher Mammel, who is representing the four guards and gave their side of the story to the Chicago Sun-Times Monday.
"[The captain] never came back to authorize him to do anything," added attorney Dana Kurtz, also representing the guards.

The guards, among six suspended in the aftermath of the Feb. 11 escape, also claim the jail was so short-staffed that night, there were no supervisors on duty.

"Ultimately, it was the failure to properly staff this unit that allowed these inmates to escape," said Mammel.

Sheriff's spokesman Bill Cunningham acknowledged problems with staffing that night. "There's no question that's a factor in everything that happens at the jail and we're particularly short-staffed at night."

Lie detector tests
But he insisted the supervisor who learned of the tip followed all proper procedures after receiving the information. He added that the supervisor consented to -- and passed -- a lie detector test.

"The same can't be said for some of those under suspension," Cunningham said, refusing to give details.

Kurtz countered that the lie detector tests appeared to have been administered improperly to the guards.

Darin Gater, a jail correctional officer, was charged last week with helping the inmates escape. He has told prosecutors that another guard approached him roughly 10 days before the escape and asked if he would help with the breakout, sources said.

The four suspended guards insist Gater hadn't been talking to them, and add that they haven't been told why they're off the job.

Crime scene not preserved?
Gater also allegedly gave a statement to investigators saying an escape would make Sheriff Michael Sheahan look bad and could aid sheriff's candidate Richard Remus in his campaign. Gater worked for Remus when the sheriff's candidate was head of the jail's Special Operations Response Team.

Two of the guards acknowledge they're involved in the Remus campaign. Kurtz and Mammel are representing Remus in a wrongful termination case against the county.

Gater now says his statement to investigators was coerced after more than 24 hours of questioning without an attorney present.

The four suspended guards -- each a SORT member -- say they, too, were held and questioned for more than 24 hours without an attorney and also say they were never read their rights and were assured they didn't need a lawyer.
Cunningham insisted the guards were told of their rights. And while the guards are suspended pending a criminal investigation into the escape, "that doesn't mean they'll be charged criminally or even administratively," he said. "That possibility exists, but we just thought it would be prudent to do this while it's under investigation."

But the guards say they couldn't have helped in the escape because they weren't scheduled to be in the jail when it happened -- each of them had shifts ending at 10 p.m. When the escape happened, closer to midnight, only one of the four was on duty, as he had been asked to work overtime.
If not for that voluntary shift, only two guards would have been on that tier that night, Mammel said.

The guards also complained that the area where the escape occurred was not preserved as a crime scene.

Cunningham insists it was, saying pictures were taken, the area was taped off and evidence technicians worked the scene for about an hour before it was cleaned up.




Recent Headlines

Cook County circuit clerk says city owes $13M in fees
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Chciago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County faces $177 million in deficits over next two budget years
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Cook County facing 'difficult and challenging' $82 million budget shortfall
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle: $82M Budget Hole Means ‘Difficult Choices’ For Cook County
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Editorial: A Chicago revival: The Lazarus of Harrison Street
Friday, June 15, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Growing food, community
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Help Squad: Consumers can file lawsuits and other legal documents online —some free via an online fee waiver
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Residents speak out as Wilmette Board introduces minimum wage and sick time ordinances
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County's bid to avoid attorney fees for paraplegic detainee backfires
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Forest Preserves Show Off To Visitors At Daley Plaza
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WBBW News Radio

Peek Inside the Old Cook County Hospital, Vacant for 16 Years
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
NBC Chicago

After 16 years, renovation underway at old Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WGN Television

Officials break ground on $1 billion overhaul of long-vacant Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

George Leighton, legendary Chicago judge and courthouse namesake, dies at 105
Thursday, June 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

George Leighton, Chicago judge for whom criminal courthouse is named, dies at 105
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County allows video gambling in unincorporated areas
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Backpage.com lawsuit against Cook County sheriff dismissed
Saturday, June 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown’s office to get federal monitor for hiring practices
Friday, June 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Coyote puppies tagged, health work-ups conducted in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EDITORIAL: Justice delayed 16 months — until a reporter starts nosing around
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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