About 25 lawyers could still get laid off
under an agreement on budget cuts announced today by Cook County Board
President Toni Preckwinkle and State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Alvarez already has said she will lay off more than 100 administrative
employees to meet Preckwinkle's benchmark of a 10 percent reduction to
the state's attorney's budget, which was about $131 million last year.
A combination of other cost-saving measures in county government will
allow Alvarez to lay off 25 attorneys or less, and not shut down any
sections of the office, rather than firing 58 lawyers, as she initially
For its part, the State's Attorney's office will take over legal
representation of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, saving legal
fees that department has previously had to pay outside legal counsel,
according to Jessey Neves, Preckwinkle's spokeswoman.
said Alvarez's office will coordinate with other county departments to
more aggressively litigate cases of worker's compensation fraud by
county employees, which Preckwinkle has highlighted as an area where the
financially-strapped county government can cut costs without reducing
Alvarez's staff will also work to help other county departments improve their efficiency, according to Neves.
is demanding significant cuts countywide as she attempts to pass a
county budget that closes a $487 million shortfall.