Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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 Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.

Judge orders outside investigation into Ill. probation department
Accused of teaming up with law enforcement to search probationers' homes without warrants

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Chicago Tribune
by Cynthia Dizikes and Todd Lighty

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans on Wednesday hired a well-known law firm to investigate allegations that the court’s probation department has improperly teamed up on searches of probationers’ homes with Chicago police and the FBI.


Evans’ decision to bring in an outside law firm is the result of a Tribune investigation published Wednesday that found the Adult Probation Department for years has quietly worked with law enforcement to go into probationers' homes without warrants, looking for guns, drugs and information and leading to questionable and illegal searches.

Their actions, in some cases, had triggered accusations that drugs were planted, money was stolen and probationers were threatened with jail if they refused to become informants for Chicago police and the FBI.

Evans, in a statement, said any evidence of illegal conduct would be turned over to the proper authorities.

“I am outraged by these allegations which, if true, could be considered a blatant disregard of constitutional rights,” Evans said. “It is the responsibility of the probation officers to safeguard the rights of probationers at all times by ensuring appropriate policies and procedures are followed.”

Evans oversees the probation department and its officers who monitor some 24,000 convicts sentenced to probation instead of prison.

The Tribune found that many of the concerns stemmed from the activities of the specialized weapons units supervised by Deputy Chief Philippe Loizon, a veteran probation officer who has built alliances with police and the FBI, at times over his bosses’ objections.

According to his statement, Evans has specifically asked the law firm to investigate “whether the heads of the department’s specialized weapons units encouraged and participated in improper searches and seizures, as well as engaged in other questionable practices.”

Evans said Loizon was placed on desk duty last Friday. The move came two days after the Tribune presented its findings to department officials.

Loizon, 49, who has worked for the department for more than two decades, declined to comment.

Probation officers—unlike police and federal authorities—have the power under the law to conduct surprise searches of probationers’ homes without warrants. The Tribune found that the FBI and police have assisted probation officers during searches, gaining access to homes where they might otherwise need a court-ordered warrant.

Probationers also told the Tribune that some probation officers pressured them to become informants by promising special treatment and threatened to disrupt their lives if they refused to cooperate.

Although police and probation officers cooperate in other cities, legal experts said such arrangements should have detailed policies to avoid illegal searches that could allow criminals to go free when evidence is thrown out, expose police and others to lawsuits and lead to civil rights violations.

The Tribune’s investigation found that the department has not developed rules and regulations for cooperating with law enforcement agencies, and has only vague guidelines on how officers should carry out their searches. Probation officers also are not trained in developing and handling confidential informants.

Evans called the department “troubled” and said the investigation also would examine the department’s procedures and policies to see if any changes are needed.

He said the investigation will be conducted by Laner Muchin, Ltd. and is expected to be completed within 60 days.

Chicago-based Laner Muchin bills itself as one of the country’s oldest law firms specializing in labor and employment law on behalf of management.

Evans said he has ordered the department’s leadership to cooperate with the investigation and “to make certain that any searches and seizures comply with constitutional mandates.”

Evans was not available for further comment. Lavone Haywood, who was Loizon’s immediate supervisor before Evans promoted Haywood to head of the department in March, could not be reached for comment.

Kenny Ray, a fast-food restaurant manager whose home a judge determined was illegally searched in 2011, said he was hopeful no one else would go through what he did.

Ray had told the Tribune that after the search, he discovered about $1,500 was missing from his bedroom closet. Police and probation have denied any wrongdoing in the search.

Ray, 34, said he appreciated that the allegations were being taken seriously.

“It’s great,” he said. “I’m glad they took notice and are going to look into what’s going on.”

Recent Headlines

Nearly a century after a brutal murder, Chicago’s only lynching victim gets memorial
Thursday, March 21, 2019
The Grio

Recovery Behind Bars: Cook County Jail’s Opioid Treatment Program
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Medill Reports

Judge: Labor unions don't owe non-union state workers refunds, despite unconstitutional fees
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Cook County record

The language of justice: Court interpreters fight for client rights and their rights in Cook County
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Medill Reports

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Preckwinkle sends out harassment survey to staff after harassment controversy in her office
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

City considers landmarking old Cook County Hospital
Friday, March 01, 2019
Gazette Chicago

all news items

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