Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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.

   
  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



What were sheriff's motives?

Thursday, June 16, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by Malcolm C. Rich
Letter to the Editor

On June 3, a jury in a civil lawsuit found that seven corrections officers at the Cook County Jail did not use excessive force against four inmates in July 2000. While the jury's verdict cleared the corrections officers of wrongdoing, the conduct of the litigation has raised concerns about officials at the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

Chicago attorney Jean Snyder, who has successfully litigated lawsuits concerning conditions at the Cook County Jail, initially represented the four inmates. In 2004, Sheriff Michael Sheahan accused Snyder of collaborating with the inmates to stage the beating in order to get big money in a lawsuit. The sheriff demanded that the Cook County state's attorney's office consider criminal charges against Snyder, and he also referred Snyder to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee for possible professional sanctions. These accusations were attended by extensive media coverage.

Subsequent investigations by the Cook County state's attorney's office and the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee cleared Snyder of any wrongdoing. But not before Snyder had been forced to withdraw from the case as a result of the sheriff's accusation.

In the closing arguments at the conclusion of the trial, the sheriff's lawyers informed the jury that they had no reason to believe that Snyder had been in any way involved in staging the beating. In the wake of the sheriff's highly public accusations against Snyder a little over a year earlier, this admission is, to say the least, surprising.

A fundamental component of our legal system is the freedom of litigants to choose their own attorney. An individual should be able to expect that his attorney will provide representation throughout the proceedings. Many would likely forego vindicating their legal rights in court if there was even a remote possibility that they would face the daunting task of changing lawyers during the litigation. Any sort of interference with the attorney/client relationship is a serious matter; improper tampering with the relationship intolerably compromises the rights of the litigant affected, perverts the court's processes, and is corrosive to the fair administration of justice.

The sheriff is not an ordinary participant in our justice system. The sheriff is a public official and as such has a duty to uphold the law and to conduct his office within the law's bounds. As a principal of Cook County's law enforcement community, the sheriff has a special ability to collect information and to screen that information for evidence of wrongdoing.

Snyder was forced to withdraw her representation from the four inmates because of the sheriff's accusations, which apparently have proved baseless. Whether or not Snyder's representation would have made a difference in the case cannot be known, but the inmates were entitled to her representation. The question should be asked: Did the sheriff have a good-faith basis for the accusations against Snyder or were the accusations designed to force her off the case?

Malcolm C. Rich,
executive director,
Chicago Council of Lawyers



Recent Headlines

Beekeeping Behind Bars: Inmates Raise Bees at Cook County Jail
Friday, June 14, 2019
WTTW News

Court rules county retirees entitled to health care no matter who last employer was
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Prevent Illinois from being the next ground zero for measles
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

At Cook County Jail, Inmates Relax Their Minds, Bodies With Yoga
Thursday, June 06, 2019
Prison Mindfulness Institute

Illinois Dept. of Revenue Releases Final 2018 Cook County Equalization Factor
Thursday, June 06, 2019
JD Supra

Skokie drops recent proposal to opt out of Cook County minimum wage ordinance
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

JAMA examines rising drug costs • CVS' ambitious transformation • Cook County extends Medicaid contract
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County judge, ripped for ‘insensitive’ racial comments, dumped from bench
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Offers Low Cost Rabies And Microchipping Clinic
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Patch

Masturbating Cook County Jail inmates could cost taxpayers $2 million-plus in legal fees
Tuesday, June 04, 2019

New training and protocols needed at Cook County, task force says after sexual harassment scandal
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County assessor's tax reform bill skids in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi's property tax reforms stall out in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District has found the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in the District this year.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County to Address Perinatal Health Disparities with $4.8M Grant
Friday, May 24, 2019
WTTW News

Audit Recommends Ways To Overhaul Cook County Property Tax System
Thursday, May 23, 2019
WBEZ News

Cock-a-doodle-deferred? After ‘urban farmers’ cry foul, county tables rooster ban
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

From green screen computers to staff shortages, a new audit says Cook County's property tax system needs more resources
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019
WTTW News

all news items

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