Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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.

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

Judge to move on jail guards; Contempt hearing set for February

Friday, December 24, 2004
Chicago Tribune
by Mickey Ciokajlo

A federal judge Thursday ordered a contempt hearing to determine how many new guards need to be hired at Cook County Jail after County Board President John Stroger failed to reach an agreement with Sheriff Michael Sheahan and other parties.

Lawyers who represent pretrial detainees said Stroger reneged on a deal to hire 283 more guards in 2005.

A spokeswoman for Stroger said there was a "staff misunderstanding" over the number and that Stroger has pledged to put 200 new guards into next year's budget, which lawyers representing the detainees say is not enough.

The adequacy of guard staffing is one issue monitored under a 22-year-old Duran consent decree governing jail conditions.

U.S. District Judge George Marovich scheduled a contempt hearing for Feb. 10-11 to determine how many guards are required and, if necessary, to order the County Board to hire them.

Marovich said he was disappointed that the lack of an agreement left him no alternative but to force the adversarial proceedings.

"Maybe President Stroger was misunderstood, but I want to make sure that I am not," Marovich said.

Marovich noted that a contempt hearing, which will require expert witnesses and extra lawyers' time, would cost the county additional money that could otherwise be put toward hiring more guards.

Robert Lehrer, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers, said the sides could still possibly reach an agreement and avoid the contempt hearing.

The situation shows a lack of planning on Stroger's part, said County Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston), who attended Thursday's court hearing.

"It is reflective of the president's failure to anticipate these things," said Suffredin, who is considered one of many potential contenders for Stroger's job in the 2006 election.

Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-Chicago), who also attended the hearing and is weighing a run for the board presidency, said the apparent confusion over the negotiated agreement "indicates to me that the president's office is not operating in sync."

Stroger has yet to release a proposed 2005 budget despite the fiscal year starting on Dec. 1. His staff on Thursday started calling commissioners to set up private briefings next week, an indication the budget is nearly completed.

Stroger's lawyer on Thursday said a staffing study of the jail could play an important role in the contempt hearing.

Patrick Driscoll, the chief civil lawyer in the state's attorney's office, said figures show that on any day, 46 guards who have no more time off do not go to work.

Driscoll said the figure raises questions about management of the jail that could be relevant in light of the court's pressure to hire more officers.

Bill Cunningham, a spokesman for Sheahan, said the "lion's share" of those call-ins reflect people on disability or emergency family medical leave.

"It's a smokescreen" to deflect attention from the need for more guards, Cunningham said.

Recent Headlines

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to

What's at stake in latest census numbers
Monday, April 22, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Legislation aims to make water rates across Illinois more affordable and equitable
Monday, April 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown worker who allegedly lied to federal grand jury set for trial
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Time is running out for an affordable housing fix
Friday, April 19, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessorís Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZís Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Vote for your favorite presidential candidate. The Illinois Democratic County Chairís Association wants to know who you want to be the Democratic nominees for President and Vice President. Vote here.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the regionís sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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