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New attorney chosen for sheriff's lawsuit against Cook Co.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Daily Herald
by Rob Olmstead

A Cook County judge approved the substitution of attorneys Tuesday for former Sheriff Michael Sheahan in his suit against Cook County.

In November, the Daily Herald pointed out a potential conflict of interest with Sheahan's attorney from the firm of Querrey & Harrow. The firm earns hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars each year defending the sheriff's office from lawsuits, but in this case it was in the position of suing the county on behalf of Sheahan.

Patrick Driscoll, head of the civil litigation bureau for the county, said the substitution was made in response to the Daily Herald story to avoid any appearance of a conflict.

Sheahan sued the county alleging it never paid him money he was due in addition to his sheriff's pay for running the county's boot camp.

Keith J. Keogh will be Sheahan's new attorney. Dominick Lanzito, a Querrey & Harrow attorney, told the judge in turning over the reins Tuesday that the sides are in settlement talks, but there are still issues to be resolved with the county pension board and the county's budget.



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